Journal of Cell Communication and Signaling

, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 289–291 | Cite as

Hormesis: from mainstream to therapy

  • Edward J. Calabrese
Research Article


This issue of the Journal of Cell Communication and Cell Signaling on hormetic mechanisms represents an important step in the evolution of the hormesis dose response concept. Since its modern resurgence in the late 1970s the widespread occurrence of hormesis has been in search of its underlying mechanisms. The present integrative set of papers builds upon significant recent advances in the elucidation of hormetic mechanisms and provides the reader with a deep and extensive view of the concept of hormesis from a broad range of researcher perspectives and in many biomedical applications.


Biphasic Dose response Hormesis Hormetic J-shaped, U-shaped 



Research activities in the area of dose response have been funded by the United States Air Force and ExxonMobil Foundation over a number of years. However, such funding support has not been used for the present manuscript. The author confirms independence from the sponsors; the content of the article has not been influenced by the sponsors.


  1. Calabrese EJ (2005) Historical blunders: how toxicology got the dose-response relationship half right. Cell Mol Biol 51(7):643–654PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Calabrese EJ (2008) Hormesis: why it is important to toxicology and toxicologists. Environ Toxicol Chem 27(7):1451–1474PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Calabrese EJ (2013) Hormesis mechanisms. Crit Rev Toxicol 43(7):580–606PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Calabrese EJ, Baldwin LA (2000a) Chemical hormesis: its historical foundations as a biological hypothesis. Hum Exp Toxicol 19(1):2–31PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Calabrese EJ, Baldwin LA (2000b) The marginalization of hormesis. Hum Exp Toxicol 19(1):32–40PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Calabrese EJ, Baldwin LA (2000c) Radiation hormesis: its historical foundations as a biological hypothesis. Hum Exp Toxicol 19(1):41–75PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Calabrese EJ, Baldwin LA (2000d) Radiation hormesis: the demise of a legitimate hypothesis. Hum Exp Toxicol 19(1):76–84PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Calabrese EJ, Baldwin LA (2000e) Tales of two similar hypotheses: the rise and fall of chemical and radiation hormesis. Hum Exp Toxicol 19(1):85–97PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Calabrese EJ, Baldwin LA (2002) Defining hormesis. Hum Exp Toxicol 21(2):91–97PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Calabrese EJ, Baldwin LA (2003) The hormetic dose-response model is more common than the threshold model in toxicology. Toxicol Sci 71(2):246–250PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Calabrese EJ, Blain R (2005) The occurrence of hormetic dose responses in the toxicological literature, the hormesis database: an overview. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 202(3):289–301PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Calabrese EJ, Blain RB (2009) Hormesis and plant biology. Environ Poll 157(1):42–48CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Calabrese EJ, Blain RB (2011) The hormesis database: the occurrence of hormetic dose responses in the toxicological literature. Reg Toxicol Pharmacol 61(1):73–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Crump T (2003) Contemporary medicine as presented by its practitioners themselves. Leipzig 1923:217–250. Hugo Schulz, NIH Library Translation (NIH-98-134). Nonlinear Biol Toxicol Med 1:295–318Google Scholar
  15. Luckey TD (1980) Ionizing radiation and hormesis. CRC Press, Boca RatonGoogle Scholar
  16. Schulz H (1887) Zur Lehre von der Arzneiwirdung. Virchows Arch Pathol Anat Physiol Fur Klin Med 108:423–445CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Schulz H (1888) Uber Hefegifte. Pflugers Arch Gesamte Physiol Mensch Tiere 42:517–541CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Southam CM, Ehrlich J (1943) Effects of extract of western red-cedar heartwood on certain wood-decaying fungi in culture. Phytopathology 33(6):517–524Google Scholar
  19. Stebbing ARD (1981) Hormesis: stimulation of colony growth in campanularia-flexuosa (hydrozoa) by copper, cadmium and other toxicants. Aquat Toxicol 1(3–4):227–238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Stebbing ARD (1998) A theory for growth hormesis. Mut Res 403(1–2):249–258CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Szabadi E (1977) Model of 2 functionally antagonistic receptor populations activated by same agonist. J Theor Biol 69(1):101–112PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The International CCN Society 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Public Health, Environmental Health Sciences Morrill I, N344University of MassachusettsAmherstUSA

Personalised recommendations