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

  • Author(s): Calabrese, Edward J
  • Bachmann, Kenneth A
  • Bailer, A John
  • Bolger, P Michael
  • Borak, Jonathan
  • Cai, Lu
  • Cedergreen, Nina
  • Cherian, M George
  • Chiueh, Chuang C
  • Clarkson, Thomas W
  • Cook, Ralph R
  • Diamond, David M
  • Doolittle, David J
  • Dorato, Michael A
  • Duke, Stephen O
  • Feinendegen, Ludwig
  • Gardner, Donald E
  • Hart, Ronald W
  • Hastings, Kenneth L
  • Hayes, A Wallace
  • Hoffmann, George R
  • Ives, John A
  • Jaworowski, Zbigniew
  • Johnson, Thomas E
  • Jonas, Wayne B
  • Kaminski, Norbert E
  • Keller, John G
  • Klaunig, James E
  • Knudsen, Thomas B
  • Kozumbo, Walter J
  • Lettieri, Teresa
  • Liu, Shu-Zheng
  • Maisseu, Andre
  • Maynard, Kenneth I
  • Masoro, Edward J
  • McClellan, Roger O
  • Mehendale, Harihara M
  • Mothersill, Carmel
  • Newlin, David B
  • Nigg, Herbert N
  • Oehme, Frederick W
  • Phalen, Robert F
  • Philbert, Martin A
  • Rattan, Suresh IS
  • Riviere, Jim E
  • Rodricks, Joseph
  • Sapolsky, Robert M
  • Scott, Bobby R
  • Seymour, Colin
  • Sinclair, David A
  • Smith-Sonneborn, Joan
  • Snow, Elizabeth T
  • Spear, Linda
  • Stevenson, Donald E
  • Thomas, Yolene
  • Tubiana, Maurice
  • Williams, Gary M
  • Mattson, Mark P
  • et al.

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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