Although many works support gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) having a close relation to bystander cell killing in herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase (HSV-TK) gene and ganciclovir (GCV) treatment, our previous work suggested that other factors involved in bystander effect besides GJIC exist. To confirm our primary work, we evaluated the mode of the bystander cell (C6) co-cultured with TK-positive cells (TF10.2) in our designed "insert plates" in which two cell lines could be separated but share the same medium. Another method that we used was adding the supernatant from the medium of GCV-treated TF10.2 cells to the wild type C6. Growth inhibition of the bystander cells was observed despite the absence of GJIC. In addition, apoptotic cell death of TK+ cells and bystander cells was obvious. These studies suggested that other pathways besides cell-cell contacts may play a role in bystander cell killing; the factors released from TK-positive cells could induce apoptosis of bystander cells.
Copyright 1999 Academic Press.