1. Fluorescence Dolarization of dbhenvlhexa-triene embedded in membranes was used as an index of ‘microviscosity’ in platelets and ervthro—cyte ghosts of spontaneously hypertensive rats of the Okamoto-Aoki strain (SHR), Wistar-Kyoto strain (WKY) and of the hypertension-prone and -resistant Sabra strains (SBH and SBN), and the original Sabra strain (SB).
2. Microviscosity was increased both in erythrocyte ghosts and platelet membranes of male but not female SHR rats compared with WKY rats and in hypertension-prone Sabra rats compared with the original Sabra rats.
3. Acute and chronic salt loading increased the microviscosity of platelet membranes in all strains of rats but had no effect on the erythrocyte membranes.
4. Microviscosities of vesicles made of lipids extracted from SHR and WKY erythrocyte ghosts were similar. This supports the hypothesis that membrane proteins play a major role in the differences in microviscosity observed in SHR rats.