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The concept of radiation-induced hormesis, whereby a low dose is beneficial and a high dose is detrimental, has been gaining attention in the fields of molecular biology, environmental toxicology and radiation biology. There is a growing body of literature that recognises the importance of hormetic dose response not only in the radiation field, but also with molecular agents. However, there is continuing debate on the magnitude and mechanism of radiation hormetic dose response, which could make further contributions, as a research tool, to science and perhaps eventually to public health due to potential therapeutic benefits for society. The biological phenomena of low dose ionising radiation (LDIR) includes bystander effects, adaptive response, hypersensitivity, radioresistance and genomic instability. In this review, the beneficial and the detrimental effects of LDIR-induced hormesis are explored, together with an overview of its underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms that may potentially provide an insight to the therapeutic implications to human health in the future.

Original publication




Journal article


Applied Sciences (Switzerland)

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