Biological stress response terminology: Integrating the concepts of adaptive response and preconditioning stress within a hormetic dose-response framework

Journal Article

By: E; Bachmann Calabrese, K; Bailer, A; Bolger, P; Borak, J; Cai, L; Cedergreen, N; Cherian, M; Chiueh, C; Clarkson, T; Cook, R; Diamond, D; Doolittle, D; Dorato, M; Duke, S; Feinendegen, L; Gardner, D; Hart, R; Hastings, K; Hayes, A; Hoffmann, G; John Ives; Jaworowski, Z; Johnson, T; Wayne B Jonas; Kaminski, N; Keller, J; Klaunig, J; Knudsen, T; Kozumbo, W; Lettieri, T; Liu, S; Maisseu, A; Maynard, K; Masoro, E; McClellan, R; Mehendale, H; Mothersill, C; Newlin, D; Nigg, H; Oehme, F; Phalen, R; Philbert, M; Rattan, S; Riviere, J; Rodricks, J; Sapolsky, R; Scott, B; Seymour, C; Sinclair, D; Smith-Sonneborn, J; Snow, E; Spear, L; Stevenson, D; Thomas, Y; Tubiana, M; Williams, G; Mattson, M
Publication Name: Toxicol Appl Pharmacol
Year: 2007

Many biological subdisciplines that regularly assess dose-response relationships have identified an evolutionarily conserved process in which a low dose of a stressful stimulus activates an adaptive response that increases the resistance of the cell or organism to a moderate to severe level of stress. Due to a lack of frequent interaction among scientists in these many areas, there has emerged a broad range of terms that describe such dose-response relationships. This situation has become problematic because the different terms describe a family of similar biological responses (e.g., adaptive response, preconditioning, hormesis), adversely affecting interdisciplinary communication, and possibly even obscuring generalizable features and central biological concepts. With support from scientists in a broad range of disciplines, this article offers a set of recommendations we believe can achieve greater conceptual harmony in dose-response terminology, as well as better understanding and communication across the broad spectrum of biological disciplines.

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