Hormesis: Why it is Important to Toxicology and Toxicologists - Critical Review

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This article provides a comprehensive review of hormesis, a dose–response concept that is characterized by a low-dose stimulation and a high-dose inhibition. The article traces the historical foundations of hormesis, its quantitative features and mechanistic foundations, and its risk assessment implications. The article indicates that the hormetic dose response is the most fundamental dose response, significantly outcompeting other leading dose–response models in large-scale, head-to-head evaluations. The hormetic dose response is highly generalizable, being independent of biological model, endpoint measured, chemical class, and interindividual variability. Hormesis also provides a framework for the study and assessment of chemical mixtures, incorporating the concept of additivity and synergism. Because the hormetic biphasic dose response represents a general pattern of biological responsiveness, it is expected that it will become progressively more significant within toxicological evaluation and risk assessment practices as well as have numerous biomedical applications.

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