The Unsaturation Index (U.I.) expresses the number of cis double bonds characterizing a phospholipid bilayer and describes the fluidity, or flexibility, of a biological membrane. Therefore, this is a fundamental parameter containing information on many membrane biophysical properties and behavior.
A very interesting paper by Rob N.M. Weijers (Current Diabetes Reviews 2012) shows how the U.I. seems to be one of the triggering causes, if not the triggering cause, of an increased rigidity in phospholipid plasma membranes. Such rigidity damages the cell machinery responsible for the glucose metabolism.
“The flexibility of a membrane determined by the ratio of poly-unsaturated to saturated fatty acyl chains of its phospholipids influences the effectiveness of glucose transport by insulin-independent glucose transporters (GLUTs) and the insulin-dependent GLUT4, and from the prediabetic stage on a shift from unsaturated towards saturated fatty acyl chains of membrane phospholipids directly induces a decrease in glucose effectiveness and insulin sensitivity.”
In Type-2 Diabetis Mellitus field, as in many more, the U.I. proves to be a crucial index, even if still not properly considered by the scientific community.
The U.I. is just one of the many parameters that our Report analysis service considers while describing the significant properties of cell membrane network. Here we go again: lots of parameters, data and ideas.