Effects of sugar alcohols and disaccharides in inducing the hexagonal phase and altering membrane properties: implications for diabetes mellitus
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A number of sugars lowered the bilayer to hexagonal phase transition temperature of dielaidoylphosphatidylethanolamine. Disaccharides had the greatest effect followed by sugar alcohols. The monosaccharides, glucose and galactose had no effect on this phase transition temperature. The sugars promoted vesicle leakage only under conditions where the lipid was near its hexagonal phase transition temperature. Leakage from lipids in the bilayer state was inhibited by the sugars. Polyols, such as sorbitol, promote hexagonal phase formation and alter membrane permeability. These membrane effects may contribute to the damage caused by sorbitol accumulation in certain tissues of diabetic patients.
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