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HORMESIS [BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF LOW LEVEL EXPOSURES (BELLE)] AND DERMATOLOGY

Abstract
Hormesis, or biological effects of low level exposures (BELLE), is characterized by nonmonotonic dose response which is biphasic, displaying opposite effects at low and high dose. Its occurrence has been documented across a broad range of biological models and diverse type of exposure. Since hormesis appears to be a relatively common phenomenon in many areas, the objective of this review is to explore its occurrence related to dermatology and its public health and risk assessment implication. Hormesis appears to be a common phenomenon in in-vitro skin biology. However, in vivo data are lacking and the clinical relevance of hormesis has yet to be determined. Better understanding of this phenomenon will likely lead to different strategies for risk assessment process employed in the fields of dermatologic toxicology and pharmacology. We believe that hormesis is a common phenomenon and should be given detailed consideration to its concept and its risk assessment implications, and how these may be incorporated into the experimental and regulatory processes in dermatology. The skin, with its unique characteristics, its accessibility, and the availability of non-invasive bioengineering and DNA microarray technology, will be a good candidate to extend the biology of hormesis.
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Date
2008-03-01
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