Stress-response hormesis and aging: "that which does not kill us makes us stronger"

Cell Metab. 2008 Mar;7(3):200-3. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2008.01.001.


Hormesis refers to the beneficial effects of a treatment that at a higher intensity is harmful. In one form of hormesis, sublethal exposure to stressors induces a response that results in stress resistance. The principle of stress-response hormesis is increasingly finding application in studies of aging, where hormetic increases in life span have been seen in several animal models.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Aging / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Biotransformation
  • Caloric Restriction
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Environmental Pollutants / pharmacology*
  • Environmental Pollutants / toxicity
  • Humans
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / metabolism
  • Longevity / drug effects*
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects*
  • Stress, Physiological / chemically induced
  • Stress, Physiological / metabolism*
  • Stress, Physiological / physiopathology


  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Insulin
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I