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Mutat Res. 2006 May 11;597(1-2):43-9. Epub 2006 Jan 19.

Bystander-induced differentiation: a major response to targeted irradiation of a urothelial explant model.

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Gray Cancer Institute, P.O. Box 100, Mount Vernon Hospital, Northwood, Middlesex HA6 2JR, UK.


A ureter primary explant technique, using porcine tissue sections was developed to study bystander effects under in vivo like conditions where dividing and differentiated cells are present. Targeted irradiations of ureter tissue fragments were performed with the Gray Cancer Institute charged particle microbeam at a single location (2 microm precision) with 10 3He2+ particles (5 MeV; LET 70 keV/microm). After irradiation the ureter tissue section was incubated for 7 days allowing explant outgrowth to be formed. Differentiation was estimated using antibodies to Uroplakin III, a specific marker of terminal urothelial differentiation. Even although only a single region of the tissue section was targeted, thousands of additional cells were found to undergo bystander-induced differentiation in the explant outgrowth. This resulted in an overall increase in the fraction of differentiated cells from 63.5+/-5.4% to 76.6+/-5.6%. These changes are much greater than that observed for the induction of damage in this model. One interpretation of these results is that in the tissue environment, differentiation is a much more significant response to targeted irradiation and potentially a protective mechanism.

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