- Radiation-induced bystander factors have been shown to be more toxic if they are from medium harvested from irradiated repair-deficient cells. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that the radiosensitivity of repair-proficient cells can be increased by exposing them to medium-borne factors harvested from sensitive cells and vice versa. Cells from a mismatch repair (MMR)-deficient cell line (Raji 10) with a sensitive response to radiation or the wild-type parent cell line were irradiated to 0.5 Gy gamma rays and then monitored for growth rate in their own medium or in the alternative conditioned medium. In other experiments, cells or conditioned medium were added to reporter cells (HPV-G, which are relatively sensitive keratinocytes, or highly radioresistant HT29 cells). The subsequent responses of the two cell lines to a 0.5-Gy dose of (60)Co gamma rays were measured. The results show that prior exposure of resistant cells to medium from irradiated sensitive cells reduced the clonogenic survival of the subsequently irradiated resistant cells. The reverse is also true. Measurement of the apoptosis index and BCL2 expression confirmed that the harvested medium was capable of modulating apoptosis after irradiation. This may have important applications in tumor therapy and also in the understanding of mechanisms involved in induction of adaptive responses.