A proliferation-dependent bystander effect in primary porcine and human urothelial explants in response to targeted irradiation
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The aim of this study was to test whether radiation-induced bystander effects are involved in the response of multicellular systems to targeted irradiation. A primary explant technique was used that reconstructed the in vivo microarchitecture of normal urothelium with proliferating and differentiated cells present. Sections of human and porcine ureter were cultured as explants and irradiated on day 7 when the urothelial outgrowth formed a halo around the tissue fragment. The Gray Cancer Institute charge particle microbeam facility allowed the irradiation of individual cells within the explant outgrowth with a predetermined exact number of (3)He(2+) ions (which have very similar biological effectiveness to alpha-particles). A total of 10 individual cell nuclei were irradiated with 10 (3)He(2+) ions either on the periphery, where proliferating cells are located, or at the centre of the explant outgrowth, which consisted of terminally differentiated cells. Samples were fixed 3 days after irradiation, stained and scored. The fraction of apoptotic and micronucleated cells was measured and a significant bystander-induced damage was observed. Approximately 2000-6000 cells could be damaged by the irradiation of a few cells initially, suggesting a cascade mechanism of cell damage induction. However, the fraction of micronucleated and apoptotic cells did not exceed 1-2% of the total number of the cells within the explant outgrowth. It is concluded that the bystander-induced damage depends on the proliferation status of the cells and can be observed in an in vitro explant model.
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