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Adv Space Res. 2004;34(6):1368-72.

Radiation-induced bystander effect and adaptive response in mammalian cells.

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  • 1Center for Radiological Research, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA.
  • 2CO St U, Ft Collins


Two conflicting phenomena, bystander effect and adaptive response, are important in determining the biological responses at low doses of radiation and have the potential to impact the shape of the dose-response relationship. Using the Columbia University charged-particle microbeam and the highly sensitive AL cell mutagenic assay, we show here that non-irradiated cells acquire mutagenesis through direct contact with cells whose nuclei have been traversed with a single alpha particle each. Pretreatment of cells with a low dose of X-rays four hours before alpha particle irradiation significantly decreased this bystander mutagenic response. Results from the present study address some of the fundamental issues regarding both the actual target and radiation dose effect and can contribute to our current understanding in radiation risk assessment.

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