Keywords: radiation-induced, bystander, non-human biota, radiation protection
Possible implications of radiation-induced "bystander effects" for radiation protection
There has been a recent upsurge of interest in the contribution of indirect and delayed effects of low dose exposures to the ultimate response to ionising radiation. This is partly due to the availability of tools such as the microbeam and advanced cell culture but the ability to study endpoints such as gene or protein expression at low doses which were previously difficult to study is also important. In this review, the history of bystander effects in the earlier literature is discussed in the context of the current data and controversies. These are now beginning to resolve the mechanistic questions concerning the induction and transmission of both bystander effects and genomic instability. The possible impact of data concerning radiation-induced bystander effects on radiotherapy and radiation protection are also discussed.