Effect of dose rate on the radiation-induced bystander response
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Radiation-induced biological bystander effects have become a well-established phenomenon associated with the interaction of radiation with cells. These so-called bystander effects have been seen across a variety of end points for both high and low linear energy transfer (LET) radiations, utilizing a variety of dose rates and radiation sources. In this study, the effect of dose rate and different low LET sources on the bystander cell survival fraction (SF) was examined. The cell line investigated was the human keratinocyte HPV-G. The bystander response was measured via clonogenic assay after medium transfer protocol. Cells were irradiated using (60)Co gamma-rays and 20 MeV electrons at doses of 0.5, 5 and 10 Gy with varying dose rates. Both gamma and electron irradiation decreased recipient SF at 0.5 Gy and 5 Gy, respectively. Subsequent recovery of the SF to control levels for 10 Gy was observed. There was no dose rate dependence for (60)Co irradiation. A significant difference in the survival fraction was observed for electron irradiation at 10 Gy and a high dose rate. Furthermore, survival fractions were compared between (60)Co and 20 MeV electron irradiations. This showed a significant increase in the survival fraction 'recovery' at 10 Gy for a (60)Co dose rate of 1.1 Gy min(-1) compared to 20 MeV electrons at 1.0 Gy min(-1). No such difference was observed when comparing at higher dose rates. Lastly, increases in survival fraction at 10 Gy were abolished and the SF decreased by the plating of increased numbers of recipient cells. Such evidence may help gain insight into the nature and mechanism(s) surrounding bystander signal production, how these phenomena are tested and their eventual application in a clinical setting.
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