Journal Article

Extracellular vesicles released following heat stress induce bystander effects in unstressed populations


Cells naïve to stress can display the effects of stress, such as DNA damage and apoptosis when they are exposed to signals from stressed cells; this phenomenon is known as the bystander effect. We previously showed that bystander effects induced by ionising radiation are mediated by extracellular vesicles (EVs). Bystander effect can also be induced by other types of stress, including heat shock, but it is unclear whether EVs are involved. Here we show that EVs released from heat shocked cells are also able to induce bystander damage in un-stressed populations. Naïve cells treated with media conditioned by heat shocked cells showed higher levels of DNA damage and apoptosis than cells treated with media from control cells. Treating naïve cells with EVs derived from media conditioned by heat shocked cells also induced a bystander effect when compared to control, with DNA damage and apoptosis increasing whilst the level of cell viability was reduced. We demonstrate that treatment of naïve cells with heat shocked cell-derived EVs leads to greater invasiveness in a trans-well matrigel assay. Finally, we show that naïve cells treated with EVs from heat-shocked cells are more likely to survive a subsequent heat shock, suggesting that these EVs mediate an adaptive response. We propose that EVs released following stress mediate an intercellular response that leads to apparent stress in neighbouring cells but also greater robustness in the face of a subsequent insult.

Attached files


Bewicke-Copley, F
Mulcahy, LA
Jacobs, LA
Samuel, P
Akbar, N
Pink, RC
Carter, DRF

Oxford Brookes departments

Faculty of Health and Life Sciences\Department of Biological and Medical Sciences


Year of publication: 2017
Date of RADAR deposit: 2017-06-26

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Related resources

This RADAR resource is the Version of Record of Extracellular vesicles released following heat stress induce bystander effects in unstressed populations


  • Owner: Rosa Teira Paz
  • Collection: Outputs
  • Version: 1 (show all)
  • Status: Live
  • Views (since Sept 2022): 406