Fernando Cardozo-Pelaez



Personal Summary

Originally from Colombia, Fernando Cardozo-Pelaez received a bachelor degree in Chemistry at the Universidad Tecnologica de Pereira in Colombia. He graduated with a Masters in Analytical Chemistry under Dr. Robert Braman at the University of South Florida, and in 1996 earned a Ph.D. in Medical Sciences at the University of South Florida in Tampa under Dr. Lynn Wecker tutelage. After a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Neurology in the University of South Florida, under Dr. Juan Sanchez-Ramos' guidance, Fernando moved to the University of Montana as an Assistant Professor in 2002.

Field of Study

Research Statement

The main objective in the Cardozo lab is to determine the effects that exposure to environmental neurotoxins have on levels of DNA damage and the DNA repair capacity in the central nervous system, and how these effects will alter neuronal function or will lead to neuronal death. 8-hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine (oxo8dG), a free radical-induced base, has been shown to be associated with processes of neurodegeneration that occur in neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimers and Parkinson's or after neurotoxicologycal insult. Accumulation of oxo8dG has been shown to be promutagenic in dividing cells. However, the functional relevance of high levels of oxo8dG in non-dividing cells is unknown. The CNS is a heterogeneous mixture of cells; therefore, it is difficult to elucidate the degree of damage to glia, as compared to neurons from studies of gross tissue. Ongoing studies with PC 12 cells, a model of neuronal differentiation, are being used to understand the differential response in DNA repair capacity of actively dividing cells compared to terminally differentiated cells, after toxicological insult. The research group also works on studies aimed to link processes of neurodegeneration and failure in the DNA repair system with increased susceptibility to neurotoxicants during normal aging. So far, it has been found that DNA damage accumulation (oxo8dG) in brain regions is regulated by the activity of theglycosylase that repairs it. Clearly, there are many other steps involved in base-excision repair of damaged DNA in post-mitotic tissues. Thus, there may be other components of DNA repair that are deficient or more susceptible to neurotoxins during aging or in specific neurodegenerative diseases. Recently, our lab identified a treatment that selectively increases the activity of the enzyme responsible for removing oxo8dG form DNA in specific brain regions. Detailed studies are being done to identify the mechanism responsible for DNA repair up-regulation, as well as its possible protective role. Additionally, studies are being performed to determine if DNA repair capacity is lost with aging or the inducible component is compromised after toxicological insult.



Cardozo-Peláez, F., Song, S., Parthasarathy, A., Epstein, C. J. and Sanchez-Ramos, J. (1998) Overexpression of Human Cu/Zn SOD in Transgenic Mice Attenuates Age-Dependent Oxidative DNA Damage and Protein in Brainstem  19(4):311-316 Neurobiology of Aging.

Cardozo-Peláez, F., Parthasarathy, A., Song, S., Hazzi, C., Naidu, K. and Sanchez-Ramos, J. (1999) Oxidative DNA Damage on Aging Mouse Brain. 14(6):972-980 Movement Disorders.

Cardozo-Peláez, F., Brooks, P.J., Stedeford, T., Song, S. and Sanchez-Ramos, J. (2000) DNA Damage, Repair and Antioxidant Systems: A Correlative Study. 28(5):779-785 Free Radical Biology and Medicine.

J. Sanchez-Ramos, S. Song, F. Cardozo-Peláez, C. Hazzi, T. Stedeford, A. Willing, T. B. Freeman, S. Saporta, W. Janssen, N. Patel, D.R. Cooper and P.R. Sanberg. (2000) Adult Bone Marrow Stroma Cells Differentiate Into Neuronal Cells in vitro164(2):247-256 Experimental Neurology.

J. Sanchez-Ramos, S. Song, M. Daley, F. Cardozo-Peláez, C. Hazzi, T. Stedeford, A. Willing, T. B. Freeman, S. Saporta, T. Zigova and P. R. Sanberg.and E.Y. Snyder (2000) The X-gal Caution in Neural Transplantation Studies. 9(5):657-667 Cell Transplantation.

T. Stedeford, F. Cardozo-Peláez, C. Hover, R.D. Harbison, and J. Sanchez-Ramos (2001) Organ-Specific Differences in 8-oxoguanosine Glycosylase (OGG1) Repair Following Acute Treatment with Benzo[a]Pyrene. 109(1-2):73-85 Research Communications in Molecular Pathology and Pharmacology.

Juan R. Sanchez-Ramos, Shijie Song, Siddarth G. Kamath, Tanja Zigova, Alison Willing, Fernando Cardozo-Peláez, Todd Stedeford,   Michael Chopp,  Paul R. Sanberg (2001) Neural Gene Expression in Human Umbilical Cord Blood. 171(1):109-15.Experimental Neurology.

T. Stedeford, F. Cardozo-Peláez, N. Nemeth, S. Song, R.D. Harbison, and J. Sanchez-Ramos (2001) Effects of Dieldrin on DNA Repair in PC12 Cells. 31(10):1272-1280. Free Radical Biology and Medicine.

Todd Stedeford, Fernando Cardozo-Peláez, Biagio Vultaggio, Carlos Muro-Cacho, German E. Luzardo, and Raymond D. Harbison (2001)  -Adrenergic Receptors and Their Significance to Chemical-Induced Nephrotoxicity. 110(1-2):59-72. Research Communications in Molecular Pathology and Pharmacology.

Serrano-Dueñas, M., Cardozo-Peláez, F. and Sanchez-Ramos, J (2001) Effects of Banisteriopsis Caapi Extract on Parkinson’s Disease. 5(3):127-132. The Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine.

Cardozo-Peláez, F., Stedeford, T. J., Brooks P.J., Song, S., and Sanchez-Ramos, J (2002) Effects of Diethylmaleate on DNA Damage and Repair in the Mouse Brain. 33(2):292-298. Free Radical Biology and Medicine.

Radak, Z., Naito, H., Kaneko, T., Tahara. S., Nakamoto, H., Takahashi, R., Cardozo-Pelaez, F. and Goto, S. (2002) Exercise training decreases DNA damage and increases DNA repair and resistance against oxidative stress of proteins in aged rat skeletal muscle. 445:273-278. Pflugers Archives European Journal of Physiology.

Mosquera DI, Stedeford T, Cardozo-Peláez F, Sanchez-Ramos J. (2003) Strain-specific differences in the expression and activity of Ogg1 in the CNS. 11(1):47-53. Gene Expression.

Sava V, Mosquera D, Song S, Stedeford T, Calero K, Cardozo-Pelaez F, Harbison R, Sanchez-Ramos J. (2004) Rubratoxin B elicits antioxidative and DNA repair responses in mouse brain. 11(5-6):211-9. Gene Expression

Sava V, Mosquera D, Song S, Cardozo-Peláez F, Sanchez-Ramos JR. (2004) Effects of melanin and manganese on DNA damage and repair in PC12-derived neurons. 36(9):1144-54. Free Radical Biology and Medicine.

Bolin, C. Stedeford, T. and Cardozo-Peláez, F (2004) Single Extraction Protocol for the Analysis of Oxo8dG and its Associated Glycosylase Ogg1. 136(1): 69-76.          Journal of Neuroscience Methods.

Inna Kruman; Robert P Wersto; Fernando Cardozo-Peláez; Lubomir; Smilenov; Sic L Chan; Francis J Chrest; Roland Emokpae; Myriam Gorospe; Mark P. Mattson (2004) Cell Cycle Activation Linked to Neuronal Cell Death   Induced by DNA Damage. 41: 549–561. Neuron.

Fernando Cardozo-Pelaez, David P. Cox, and Celeste Bolin (2005) Lack of the DNA repair enzyme OGG1 sensitizes dopamine neurons to manganese toxicity during development. 12(4-6):315-23. Gene Expression.

Celeste M. Bolin, Mohammed R. Basha, David Cox, Nasser H. Zawia, Fernando Cardozo-Pelaez (2006) Latent Effects of Postnatal Pb Exposure on DNA Damage, Repair and Antioxidants 20(6):788-90. FASEB Journal.

David P. Cox  and Fernando Cardozo-Pelaez (2007) High Throughput Method for Assessment of Cellular Reduced Glutathione in Mammalian Cells. 1: 23-28. JEPS

Celeste Bolin and Fernando Cardozo-Pelaez (2007) Assessing biomarkers of oxidative stress:  Analysis of guanosine and oxidized guanosine nucleotide triphosphates by high performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection. 856(1-2): 121-130. Journal of Chromatography B.

David J. Blake, Celeste M. Bolin, David Cox, Fernando Cardozo-Pelaez and Jean C. Pfau (2007) Internalization of Libby amphibole asbestos and induction of oxidative stress in murine macrophages. 99(1): 277-288. Toxicological Sciences.

Jinfang Wu, Md. Riyaz Basha, David P. Cox, Fernando Cardozo-Pelaez, Christopher A. McPherson, Deborah C. Rice, Bryan Maloney, Demao Chen, Debomoy K. Lahiri, and Nasser H. Zawia (2008) Alzheimer’s disease (AD) like pathology in aged monkeys following infantile exposure to environmental metal lead (Pb): Evidence for a developmental origin and environmental link for AD. 28(1): 3-9. J. of Neuroscience.

Golo Kronenberg, Christoph Harms, Robert W. Sobol, Fernando Cardozo-Pelaez, Benjamin Winter, Mustafa Balkaya, Karen Gertz, Shanna B. Gay, David Cox, Heinz Linhard, Sarah Eckart, Michael Ahmadi, Georg Juckel, Gerd Kempermann, Rainer Hellweg, Heide Hörtnagl, Samuel H. Wilson, Rudolf Jaenisch, and Matthias Endres (2008) Neurodegeneration, cognitive deficits, and depressive phenotype induced by folate-deficiency and impaired uracil base excision repair. 28(28):7219–7230. Journal of Neuroscience.

Celeste Bolin, and Fernando Cardozo-Pelaez (2009) Characterization of oxidized guanosine 5’-triphosphate (oxo8GTP) as a viable inhibitor of soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC). 46(6): 828-835.  Free Radical of Biology and Medicine. PMCID: PMC2814594.

Nasser H. Zawia, Debomoy K. Lahiri and Fernando Cardozo–Peláez (2009) Epigenetics, oxidative stress and Alzheimer's Disease. 46(9):1241-1249. Free Radical of Biology and Medicine.  PMCID: PMC2673453.

Giselle Cerchiaro, Celeste Bolin, and Fernando Cardozo-Pelaez (2009) Hydroxyl radical oxidation of guanosine 5’-triphosphate (GTP): requirement for a GTP-Cu(II) complex. 14(2): 82-92.  Redox Report.  PMCID: PMC2759603.

Sandra M. Wells, Mary C. Buford, Virginia M. Porter, Heather L. Brunell, Melisa Bunderson-Schelvan, Andrew B. Nevin, Fernando Cardozo-Pelaez, Andrij Holian (2010) Role of the Serotonergic System in Reduced Pulmonary Function Following Exposure to Methamphetamine. 42(5):537-44. American Journal of Respiratory Cellular and Molecular Biology. PMCID: PMC2874440.

Rau TFKothiwal AZhang LUlatowski SJacobson SBrooks DMCardozo-Pelaez FChopp MPoulsen DJ. (2011) Low dose methamphetamine mediates neuroprotection through a PI3K-AKT pathway. Sep; 61(4):677-86Neuropharmacology.

Fernando Cardozo-Pelaez and Richard J. Bridges. (2012) Coupling biomarkers and drug action for neurodegenerative disease therapies: Does the nose know? 235(2):508-12. Journal of Experimental Neurology.

Cardozo-Pelaez, F., Lyda, J.A.  2012. Lead and Alzheimer’s Disease. Encyclopedia of Metalloproteins. V.N. Uversky, R.H. Kretsinger, E.A. Permyakov eds. Springer Science. p. 1-5.

Fernando Cardozo-Pelaez, Monica Sanchez-Contreras and Andrew B.C. Nevin (2012). Ogg1 null mice exhibit age-associated loss of the nigrostriatal pathway and increased sensitivity to MPTP 61(5):721-30. J. Neurochemistry International.

Leslie S Itsara; Scott R Kennedy; Edward J Fox; Selina Yu; Joshua J Hewitt; Monica Sanchez-Contreras; Fernando Cardozo-Pelaez; Leo  J Pallanck (2014) Oxidative Stress is Not a Major Contributor to Somatic Mitochondrial DNA Mutations. 10 (2): PLoS Genetics

Sarah E. Lacher, Julia N. Gremaud, Kasse Skagen, Emily Steed, Rachel Dalton, Kent D. Sugden, Fernando Cardozo-Pelaez, Catherine M.T. Sherwin, and Erica L. Woodahl (2014)  Absence of P-glycoprotein Transport in the Pharmacokinetics and Toxicity of the Herbicide Paraquat. 348 (2): 336-345  J. Pharmacol. Exp. Therap.

N. Yasuda,C. Bolin,  F. Cardozo-Pelaez, B. C. Ruby (2015) DNA Oxidation and Proteinuria Induced by Successive Triathlons Associated with Long-term Training: A Follow-up Case Study. Jan 26:1-10  J. Sport Medicine.


Song, S., Cardozo-Peláez, F and Sanchez-Ramos, J. (2001) Relationship of Organochlorine Pesticides to Parkinsonism. In, Neurotoxic Factors in Parkinson’s Disease and Related Disorders. pp237-245. (edited by Collins and Storch, Kluwer Academic/Plenum).

Stedeford, T. and Cardozo-Peláez, F. (2004) DNA Damage and Repair in Neurotoxicology. In Molecular Neurotoxicology: Transcriptional Targets. pp123-149. (edited by Nasser H. Zawia, CRC Press, New York, NY)

Zawia, NH. and Cardozo-Pelaez, F (2010) An Epigenetic Model for Susceptibility to Oxidative DNA Damage in the Aging Brain and Alzheimer’s Disease. (edited by S.C. Bondy and K. Maiese, Springer Science)

Monica Sanchez-Contreras and Fernando Cardozo-Pelaez. (2012) Intracellular Signaling Pathways in Parkinson’s Disease. Pp247-282 (edited by James D. Adams and Keith K. Parker, Royal Society of Chemistry. Cambridge, UK)