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Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies

Xin-Yun Lu, Ph.D.


Xin-Yun Lu, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Department of Pharmacology
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Phone: 210-567-0803


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.

Selected Publications

Liu J, Garza JC, Li W, Lu XY. Melanocortin-4 receptor in the medial amygdala regulates emotional stress-induced anxiety-like behaviour, anorexia and corticosterone secretion.Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2013 Feb;16(1):105-20.

Guo M, Huang TY, Garza JC, Chua SC, Lu XY. Selective deletion of leptin receptors in adult hippocampus induces depression-related behaviours. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2013 May;16(4):857-67.

Guo M, Lu Y, Garza JC, Li Y, Chua SC, Zhang W, Lu B, Lu XY. Forebrain glutamatergic neurons mediate leptin action on depression-like behaviors and synaptic depression. Transl Psychiatry. 2012;2:e83.

Liu J, Guo M, Zhang D, Cheng SY, Liu M, Ding J, Scherer PE, Liu F, Lu XY. Adiponectin is critical in determining susceptibility to depressive behaviors and has antidepressant-like activity. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Jul 24;109(30):12248-53. 

Garza JC, Guo M, Zhang W, Lu XY. 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. 2012 Jul;17(8):790-808.  

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The Sam and Ann Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies

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San Antonio, Texas  78245
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