Cellular radiation effects and the bystander response

John B Little
Mutation Research 2006 May 11, 597 (1): 113-8
This report reviews briefly some of the findings reported over the past 2 years that enhance our understanding of the radiation-induced bystander effect. These developments include: technicological advances; the role of oxidative stress; the effect of cytoplasmic irradiation; cell-to-cell communication; and evidence that Connexin 43 mediated intercellular communication is induced by radiation exposure. A few overriding unanswered questions are discussed. These include: what is the signal(s) transmitted from irradiated to bystander cells; what is the relationship between the bystander response and other non-targeted effects of radiation; are there beneficial effects associated with the bystander response; and what is the significance of the bystander effect for radiation protection?

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