Selected Publications
  • Guo M, Lu Y, Garza JC, Li Y, Chua SC, Zhang W, Lu B and Lu X-Y (2012). Glutamatergic neurons mediate leptin action on depression-like behaviors and synaptic depression. Transl Psychiatry, in press
  • Zhang D, Guo M, Zhang W and Lu X-Y (2011). Adiponectin stimulates proliferation of adult hippocampal neural stem/progenitor cells through activation of p38MAPK/GSK-3β/β-catenin signaling cascade. Journal of Biol Chem, 286(52):44913-20.
  • Garza JC, Guo M, Zhang W and Lu X-Y (2011). Leptin restores adult hippocampal neurogenesis in a chronic unpredictable stress model of depression and reverses glucocorticoid-induced inhibition of GSK-3β/β-catenin signaling. Mol Psychiatry, doi:10.1038/mp.2011.161 Epub Dec 20. PMID 22182938.
  • Liu J, Garza JC, Li W and Lu X-Y (2011). Melanocortin-4 receptor in the medial amygdala regulates emotional stress-induced anxiety-like behavior, anorexia and corticosterone secretion. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol, Epub Dec 16:1-16. PMID 22176700.
  • Liu J, Perez S, Zhang W, Lodge D and Lu X-Y (2011). Selective deletion of the leptin receptor in dopamine neurons produces anxiogenic-like behavior and increases amygdaloid dopaminergic activity. Mol Psychiatry, 16:1024-1038.
  • Yu T, Guo M, Garza JC, Rendon S, Sun XL, Zhang W and Lu X-Y (2011). Cognitive and neural correlates of depression-like behavior in socially defeated mice: An animal model of depression with cognitive dysfunction. Int Journal of Neuropsychopharmacol, 14:303-317.
  • Liu J, Garza JC, Bronner J, Kim CS, Zhang W and Lu X-Y (2010). Acute administration of leptin produces anxiolytic-like effects: A comparison with fluoxetine. Psychopharmacology, 207:535-545.
  • Ryu KY, Fujiki N, Kazantzis M, Garza JC, Bouley DM, Stahl A, Lu X-Y, Nishino S and Kopito RR (2010). Loss of polyubiquitin gene Ubb leads to metabolic and sleep abnormalities in mice. Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology, 36(4):285-299.
  • Stunkard AJ and Lu X-Y (2010). Rapid changes in night eating: Considering mechanisms. Eating and Weight Disorders, 15(1-2):e2-8.
  • Garza JC, Guo M, Zhang W and Lu X-Y (2008). Leptin increases adult hippocampal neurogenesis in vivo and in vitro. Journal of Biol Chem, 283(26):18238-47.
  • Garza JC, Guo M, Zhang W and Lu X-Y (2008). Leptin promotes adult hippocampal neurogenesis in vivo and in vitro. Journal of Biol Chem, 197(3):471-82.
  • Garza JC, Kim CS, Liu J, Zhang W, and Lu X-Y (2008). AAV-mediated knockdown of MC4R in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus promotes high-fat diet-induced hyperphagia and obesity. Journal of Endocrinology, 197(3):471-82.
  • Ryu KY, Garza JC, Lu X-Y, Barsh GS, Kopito RR (2008). Hypothalamic neurodegeneration and adult-onset obesity in mice lacking the Ubb polyubiquitin gene. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 105(10):4016-21.
Xin-Yun Lu

Xin-Yun Lu

Professor of Pharmacology
Ph.D., Washington State University

Office: 210-567-0803



View video introduction to Dr. Lu's lab



adiponectin, obesity, eating disorders, depression, melancortin system, adiposity hormone, leptin


Research Summary

My laboratory studies the molecular mechanisms and neural circuits underlying obesity, eating disorders, and depression. Current research focuses on the role of the melanocortin system and adiposity hormone leptin in the control of appetite, mood, and emotion. Related research investigates functional interactions between melanocortin signaling, leptin signaling, and the stress system. Research strategies include transgenic mouse models, viral vector-mediated gene transfer, viral vector-mediated RNA interference, intra-nucleus microinjection, behavioral measurements, in vivo microdialysis, biochemical assays of protein phosphorylation, dual-labeling in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry.


Lu research pic

• Lab Personnel •

Dr. Jing Liu - Instructor/Research

Xuezhen Wang - Visiting Scientist

Xing Fang - Predoctoral Fellow

Linshan Sun - Predoctoral Fellow

Honghe Zhang - Predoctoral Fellow

Di Zhang - Graduate Student