This paper summarizes the results of investigations showing how molecular biological tools, such as DNA-microarrays, can provide useful suggestions about the behaviour of human organisms treated with microamounts of drugs or homeopathic medicines. The results reviewed here suggest firstly that the action of drugs is not quenched by ultra-high dilution and proceeds through modulation of gene expressions. The efficacy of drug solutions seems to be maintained in ultra-highly diluted preparations, a fact which constitutes a challenge to the dogma of quantization of matter. The second and more important result is that the different gene expression profiles of cell systems treated with the same drugs at different dilutions suggest the existence of hormetic mechanisms. The gene expression profiles of cells treated with copper(II) sulfate, Gelsemium sempervirens and Apis mellifica, are characterized by the same common denominator of the concentration-dependent inversion of gene expression, which can justify at a molecular level the concept of simile adopted in homeopathy. The main conclusion we draw from these results is that these procedures provide new kinds of information and a tool for disclosing the mechanisms involved in hormetic effects. The application of these effects to modern medicine may allow researchers to conceive unprecedented therapeutic applications or to optimize the currently used ones in the framework of a low-dose pharmacology based on a reliable experimental platform.
Keywords: Gene expression; Homeopathy; Hormesis; Low-dose pharmacology; Microarray.
Copyright © 2015 The Faculty of Homeopathy. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.