Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology

Special issue on hormesis

Special issue on hormesis – Call for papers. Mireille Sthijns, Aalt Bast and  Guido Haenen will be guest editor of a special issue in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, within the section of Molecular Toxicology. This special issue is entitled: "Hormesis and Transhormesis in Toxicology and Risk Assessment". To prevent the toxicity of chemicals, ideally we should minimize our exposure. The best case scenario, of course, is to have no exposure at all, but, in the real world, this is not possible. Luckily, living organisms appear to be more flexible than we imagined and our cells have the ability to adapt to the presence of a poison. This phenomenon is known as “hormesis”. The challenge is to somehow encourage hormetic adaptation to a toxic compound by another (nontoxic) compound. The process that exposure to one compound results in hormetic adaptation to another compound we coin as transhormesis. Indeed, although the cells in our bodies must be ready to protect us at all times it makes no sense to wear a “suit of armour” 24 hours a day when there is no imminent threat. However, the research highlights how our body “senses” chemical threats so that we raise our defensive “shields” in time to protect us. Thus, in this way, our cells become stronger by exposure to a “little bit of bad”. For more information, please visit:

Posted on Mar 07, 2016