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DNA repair processes play an important role in the determination of radiation response in both normal and tumour cells. We have investigated one aspect of DNA repair in a number of human cell lines of varying radiosensitivity using the adenovirus 5 host cell reactivation assay (HCR). In this technique, gamma-irradiated virions are used to infect cells and the ability of the cellular repair systems to process this damage is assayed by a convenient immunoperoxidase method recognising viral structural antigen expression on the cell membrane 48 h after infection. Reduced HCR was exhibited by radioresistant HeLa cells and by a radiosensitive neuroblastoma cell line, HX142. In contrast, an ataxia telangiectasia cell line, AT5 BIVA, did not show reduced HCR. On the basis of these results we can make no general conclusions about the relevance of HCR to cellular radiosensitivity. We have extended these studies to determine whether our cell lines exhibited enhanced viral reactivation (ER) following a small priming dose of gamma-radiation given to the cells before viral infection. No evidence for this phenomenon was found either in normal or tumour cell lines.