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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, EJ
  • Bachmann, KA
  • Bailer, AJ
  • Bolger, PM
  • Borak, J
  • Cai, L
  • Cedergreen, N
  • Cherian, MG
  • Chiueh, CC
  • Clarkson, TW
  • Cook, RR
  • Diamond, DM
  • Doolittle, DJ
  • Dorato, MA
  • Duke, SO
  • Feinendegen, L
  • Gardner, DE
  • Hart, RW
  • Hastings, KL
  • Hayes, AW
  • Hoffmann, GR
  • Ives, JA
  • Jaworowski, Z
  • Johnson, TE
  • Jonas, WB
  • Kaminski, NE
  • Keller, JG
  • Klaunig, JE
  • Knudsen, TB
  • Kozumbo, WJ
  • Lettieri, T
  • Liu, SZ
  • Maisseu, A
  • Maynard, KI
  • Masoro, EJ
  • McClellan, RO
  • Mehendale, HM
  • Mothersill, C
  • Newlin, DB
  • Nigg, HN
  • Oehme, FW
  • Phalen, RF
  • Philbert, MA
  • Rattan, SIS
  • Riviere, JE
  • Rodricks, J
  • Sapolsky, RM
  • Scott, BR
  • Seymour, C
  • Sinclair, DA
  • Smith-Sonneborn, J
  • Snow, ET
  • Spear, L
  • Stevenson, DE
  • Thomas, Y
  • Tubiana, M
  • Williams, GM
  • Mattson, MP
  • 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. © 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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