Gap junctions and Bystander effects: Good Samaritans and executioners

David C. Spray, Regina Hanstein, Sandra V. Lopez-Quintero, Randy F. Stout, Sylvia O. Suadicani, Mia M. Thi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


The 'Bystander' and 'Good Samaritan' effects involve the transfer of toxic or beneficial compounds from one cell to a generally adjacent other through gap junction channels and through extracellular routes. The variety of injuries in which bystander cell killing or protection occurs has greatly expanded in the last decade to include infectious agents and therapeutic compounds, radiation injury, chaperones in cell therapy and apoptosis in development. This has been accompanied by the appreciation that both gap junction mediated and paracrine routes are used for the signaling of the 'kiss of life' and the 'kiss of death' and that manipulations of these pathways and the molecules that use them may find therapeutic utility in treatment of a variety of pathological conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalWiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Membrane Transport and Signaling
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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