Over the past several years, investigations in both low-dose hyper-radiosensitivity and increased radioresistance have been a focus of radiation oncology and biology research, since both conditions occur primarily in tumor cell lines. There has been significant progress in elucidating their signaling pathways, however uncertainties exist when they are studied together with radiation-induced bystander effects. Therefore, the aim of this work was to further investigate this relationship using the T98G glioma and HaCaT cell lines. T98G glioma cells have demonstrated a strong transition from hyper-radiosensitivity to induced radioresistance, and HaCaT cells do not show low-dose hypersensitivity. Both cell lines were paired using a mix-and-match protocol, which involved growing nonirradiated cells in culture media from irradiated cells and covering all possible combinations between them. The end points analyzed were clonogenic cell survival and live calcium measurements through the cellular membrane. Our data demonstrated that T98G cells produced bystander signals that decreased the survival of both reporter T98G and HaCaT cells. The bystander effect occurred only when T98G cells were exposed to doses below 1 Gy, which was corroborated by the induction of calcium fluxes. However, when bystander signals originated from HaCaT cells, the survival fraction increased in reporter T98G cells while it decreased in HaCaT cells. Moreover, the corresponding calcium data showed no calcium fluxes in T98G cells, while HaCaT cells displayed a biphasic calcium profile. In conclusion, our findings indicate a possible link between low-dose hyper-radiosensitivity and bystander effects. This relationship varies depending on which cell line functions as the source of bystander signals. This further suggests that the bystander mechanisms are more complex than previously expected and caution should be taken when extrapolating bystander results across all cell lines and all radiation doses.
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Vol. 185 • No. 2