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Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence

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Jella KK, Moriarty R, McClean B, Byrne HJ, Lyng FM (2018) Reactive oxygen species and nitric oxide signaling in bystander cells. PLoS ONE 13(4): e0195371.


It is now well accepted that radiation induced bystander effects can occur in cells exposed to media from irradiated cells. The aim of this study was to follow the bystander cells in real time following addition of media from irradiated cells and to determine the effect of inhibiting these signals. A human keratinocyte cell line, HaCaT cells, was irradiated (0.005, 0.05 and 0.5 Gy) with γ irradiation, conditioned medium was harvested after one hour and added to recipient bystander cells. Reactive oxygen species, nitric oxide, Glutathione levels, caspase activation, cytotoxicity and cell viability was measured after the addition of irradiated cell conditioned media to bystander cells. Reactive oxygen species and nitric oxide levels in bystander cells treated with 0.5Gy ICCM were analysed in real time using time lapse fluorescence microscopy. The levels of reactive oxygen species were also measured in real time after the addition of extracellular signal-regulated kinase and c-Jun amino-terminal kinase pathway inhibitors. ROS and glutathione levels were observed to increase after the addition of irradiated cell conditioned media (0.005, 0.05 and 0.5 Gy ICCM). Caspase activation was found to increase 4 hours after irradiated cell conditioned media treatment (0.005, 0.05 and 0.5 Gy ICCM) and this increase was observed up to 8 hours and there after a reduction in caspase activation was observed. A decrease in cell viability was observed but no major change in cytotoxicity was found in HaCaT cells after treatment with irradiated cell conditioned media (0.005, 0.05 and 0.5 Gy ICCM). This study involved the identification of key signaling molecules such as reactive oxygen species, nitric oxide, glutathione and caspases generated in bystander cells. These results suggest a clear connection between reactive oxygen species and cell survival pathways with persistent production of reactive oxygen species and nitric oxide in bystander cells following exposure to irradiated cell conditioned media.