Karl A. Rodriguez

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The longest-lived rodent, the naked mole-rat (Bathyergidae; Heterocephalus glaber), maintains robust health for at least 75% of its 32 year lifespan, suggesting that the decline in genomic integrity or protein homeostasis routinely observed during aging, is either attenuated or delayed in this extraordinarily long-lived species. The ubiquitin proteasome(More)
Diabetic peripheral polyneuropathy is associated with decrements in motor/sensory neuron myelination, nerve conduction and muscle function; however, the mechanisms of reduced myelination in diabetes are poorly understood. Chronic elevation of oxidative stress may be one of the potential determinants for demyelination as lipids and proteins are important(More)
Rapamycin, an allosteric inhibitor of the mTOR kinase, increases longevity in mice in a sex-specific manner. In contrast to the widely accepted theory that a loss of proteasome activity is detrimental to both life- and healthspan, biochemical studies in vitro reveal that rapamycin inhibits 20S proteasome peptidase activity. We tested if this unexpected(More)
Aging is the greatest risk factor for developing neurodegenerative diseases, which are associated with diminished neurotransmission as well as neuronal structure and function. However, several traits seemingly evolved to avert or delay age-related deterioration in the brain of the longest-lived rodent, the naked mole-rat (NMR). The NMR remarkably also(More)
Proteostasis is an integral component of healthy aging, ensuring maintenance of protein structural and functional integrity with concomitant impact upon health span and longevity. In most metazoans, increasing age is accompanied by a decline in protein quality control resulting in the accrual of damaged, self-aggregating cytotoxic proteins. A notable(More)
Leber's Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON) is a neurodegenerative mitochondrial disease characterized by retinal ganglionic cell death and eventual loss of central vision. Specific mtDNA mutations in respiratory complex I subunits (ND4/ND6/ND1) coding genes have been identified in most of LHON patients, and these mutations have been shown to cause(More)
The San Antonio Nathan Shock Center Conferences have attracted international speakers and participants since 1995. This annual conference, held in Bandera, Texas, addresses a different topic in the biology of aging each year. The venue's intimate setting, relatively remote location and common areas are ideal for a small conference (80Á100 participants)(More)
Background: Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are transmembrane receptors that activate cells of the innate immune systems upon recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns. The TLR4 is an essential component of the innate immune response to various microorganisms. We investigated the impact of TLR4 polymorphism on development of opportunistic diseases in(More)
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