The Molecular Mechanisms of Adaptive Response Related to Environmental Stress

A. Rossnerova, A. Izzotti, A. Pulliero*, A. Bast, S.I.S. Rattan, P. Rossner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

The exposure of living organisms to environmental stress triggers defensive responses resulting in the activation of protective processes. Whenever the exposure occurs at low doses, defensive effects overwhelm the adverse effects of the exposure; this adaptive situation is referred to as "hormesis". Environmental, physical, and nutritional hormetins lead to the stimulation and strengthening of the maintenance and repair systems in cells and tissues. Exercise, heat, and irradiation are examples of physical hormetins, which activate heat shock-, DNA repair-, and anti-oxidative-stress responses. The health promoting effect of many bio-actives in fruits and vegetables can be seen as the effect of mildly toxic compounds triggering this adaptive stimulus. Numerous studies indicate that living organisms possess the ability to adapt to adverse environmental conditions, as exemplified by the fact that DNA damage and gene expression profiling in populations living in the environment with high levels of air pollution do not correspond to the concentrations of pollutants. The molecular mechanisms of the hormetic response include modulation of (a) transcription factor Nrf2 activating the synthesis of glutathione and the subsequent protection of the cell; (b) DNA methylation; and (c) microRNA. These findings provide evidence that hormesis is a toxicological event, occurring at low exposure doses to environmental stressors, having the benefit for the maintenance of a healthy status.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7053
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Volume21
Issue number19
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020

Keywords

  • adaptive response
  • biomarkers
  • cancer-risk assessment
  • chromosomal-aberrations
  • dietary
  • dna methylation
  • exposure
  • microrna expression
  • microrna machinery
  • mouse lung
  • peripheral-blood lymphocytes
  • population
  • preventive medicine
  • POPULATION
  • DNA METHYLATION
  • BIOMARKERS
  • microRNA machinery
  • DIETARY
  • CANCER-RISK ASSESSMENT
  • PERIPHERAL-BLOOD LYMPHOCYTES
  • CHROMOSOMAL-ABERRATIONS
  • MICRORNA EXPRESSION
  • MOUSE LUNG
  • EXPOSURE

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