Communication of radiation-induced stress or bystander signals between fish in vivo.
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We report data in this paper suggesting that fish irradiated to 0.5 Gy total body dose can release factors into the water that signal other unexposed fish and cause induction of bystander effects expressed as increased cell death in a reporter system. Radiation-induced bystander effects, resulting in the appearance of radiation damage or induction of typical radiation responses in unirradiated cells and tissues are now an established consequence of exposure to low doses of ionizing radiation, however little work has been done in vivo or in species other than humans or mice. In these experiments rainbow trout were irradiated and then paired with unirradiated fish for two hours. Additionally, unirradiated fish were placed in water which had previously been used to hold irradiated fish for 2 h. Sham-irradiated fish and absolute control fish were also examined all using blind protocols. Following a two h incubation period, at these various exposure regimes, the fish were killed by a blow to the head and dissected. Five organs were removed from each fish and tissue explants were cultured using an established technique. After 2 days, the culture medium was harvested and used in a reporter assay to determine whether a bystander effect had been induced. The explants were cultured on in Clonetics growth medium for a further 14 days then fixed for assay of radiation response proteins. The responses varied according to the cell type in the original explants, with the gill and fin showing the most pronounced response. The results suggest that communication signals leading to a typical radiation response can be passed between fish and seem to involve secretion of a chemical messenger into the water.
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