Adaptive homeostasis

Author: Kelvin J A Davies1
Affiliation: <sup>1</sup> Leonard Davis School of Gerontology of the Ethel Percy Andrus Gerontology Center, The University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0191, USA; Division of Molecular and Computational Biology, Department of Biological Sciences, Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, &amp; Sciences, The University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0191, USA. Electronic address:
Conference/Journal: Mol Aspects Med
Date published: 2016 Jun 1
Other: Volume ID: 49 , Pages: 1-7 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1016/j.mam.2016.04.007. , Word Count: 222

Homeostasis is a central pillar of modern Physiology. The term homeostasis was invented by Walter Bradford Cannon in an attempt to extend and codify the principle of 'milieu intérieur,' or a constant interior bodily environment, that had previously been postulated by Claude Bernard. Clearly, 'milieu intérieur' and homeostasis have served us well for over a century. Nevertheless, research on signal transduction systems that regulate gene expression, or that cause biochemical alterations to existing enzymes, in response to external and internal stimuli, makes it clear that biological systems are continuously making short-term adaptations both to set-points, and to the range of 'normal' capacity. These transient adaptations typically occur in response to relatively mild changes in conditions, to programs of exercise training, or to sub-toxic, non-damaging levels of chemical agents; thus, the terms hormesis, heterostasis, and allostasis are not accurate descriptors. Therefore, an operational adjustment to our understanding of homeostasis suggests that the modified term, Adaptive Homeostasis, may be useful especially in studies of stress, toxicology, disease, and aging. Adaptive Homeostasis may be defined as follows: 'The transient expansion or contraction of the homeostatic range in response to exposure to sub-toxic, non-damaging, signaling molecules or events, or the removal or cessation of such molecules or events.'

Keywords: Adaptation; Aging; Homeostasis; Hormesis; Nrf2; Oxidative Stress.

PMID: 27112802 PMCID: PMC4868097 DOI: 10.1016/j.mam.2016.04.007