Evidence for a physical component to the radiation-induced bystander effect?
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PURPOSE: The nature of the transferrable factor which goes from irradiated objects to bystander objects remains undefined. Most agree that a chemical entity is the likely 'factor' although some authors have produced in vitro evidence for the involvement of a physical component or a very potent volatile capable of traveling through air distances. In this paper we test the hypothesis that the communicated signal may be physical at least in part. METHODS: The in vivo fish model was used to allow signal production and response to occur in organisms in vivo without any shared blood or central nervous system (CNS) connections. A reporter assay and calcium flux measurements were used to detect signal production when irradiated fish were separated from unirradiated fish by (a) a plastic container, and (b) a foil-wrapped plastic container. RESULTS: The unirradiated fish showed bystander effects in both cases. The use of foil excludes the possibility of a light signal and although a highly active volatile could travel from one tank to another, the arrangement of sham and irradiated tanks makes it highly unlikely that this could explain our result. CONCLUSION: We conclude that there must be a physical component in the mechanism such as a weak acoustic or electromagnetic signal.
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