Liquid ordered phase

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The liquid ordered phase is a liquid crystalline phase of a lipid bilayer, and is of significant biological importance. It occurs in many lipid mixtures combining cholesterol with a phospholipid and/or sphingolipids e.g. sphingomyelin. This phase has been related to lipid rafts that may exist in plasma membranes.


The liquid ordered phase can be defined as:


This was first called the liquid ordered phase by Ipsen et al. (1987). However, it has also been called the LGI subgel phase by Huang et al. (1993) and the β phase by Vist and Davis (1990).


  • Ipsen, J. H., G. Karlstrom, O. G. Mouritsen, H. Wennerstrom, and M. J. Zuckermann. 1987. Phase equilibria in the phosphatidylcholine-cholesterol system. Biochim. Biophys. Acta. 905:162–172.
  • Huang TH, Lee CWB, Dasgupta SK, Blume A, Griffin RG. 1993. "A C-13 and H-2 Nuclear-Magnetic-Resonance Study of Phosphatidylcholine Cholesterol Interactions - Characterization of Liquid-Gel Phases." Biochemistry 32(48):13277-13287
  • Vist MR, Davis JH. 1990. "Phase-Equilibria of Cholesterol Dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine Mixtures - H-2 Nuclear Magnetic-Resonance and Differential Scanning Calorimetry." Biochemistry 29(2):451-464.