Lu Lu, M.D.

Lu Lu, M.D.

Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center
855 Monroe Avenue, Suite 515
Memphis, TN 38163
Phone: (901) 448-7557
Fax: (901) 448-1716
Lab: 521 Johnson Building
Email: Lu Lu


  • M.D. Institution: Nantong Medical College, Nantong, China
  • Postdoctoral: Columbia University, New York, NY; University of Tennessee, Memphis, TN

Research Interests

I use recombinant inbred (RI) mice and microarrays to study the several brain-related genetic problems. RI mice are an excellent resource for these studies and allow us to examine multiple types of data in a reference population. In addition to using the currently available RI strains, we have recently developed 45 additional BXD RI strains using two advanced intercross lines between C57BL/6 and DBA/2 mice as progenitors. In combination with the previously developed BXD strains this is the largest RI strain set in existence.

Many problems can be efficiently addressed using RI mice. One of these questions is the mechanism of genetic control over brain architecture. In order to study this issue we have collected extensive neuroanatomical and gene expression data in the brains of BXD strains. Because all animals are isogenic, we can collect data of the same and differing types from multiple animals and meaningfully relate each data set. This allows us to determine, for instance, whether steady state expression of a gene is related to an observed phenotype, for instance an aspect of brain architecture or a behavioral difference between strains.

Another fascinating problem that we are able to address with RI lines is the modulation of transcriptional control in response to environmental influences. Using the LXS and BXD RI strains we are examining the modulation of transcriptional control in response to alcohol, stress, and the combination of alcohol and stress treatments. By examining modulatory changes in response to these conditions, we hope to gain insight into the molecular substrates underlying differences in ethanol and stress responses?a question thought to be very important in understanding human alcoholism.

Representative Publications

  • St John SJ, Lu L, Williams RW, Saputra J, Boughter JD Jr. Genetic control of oromotor phenotypes: A survey of licking and ingestive behaviors in highly diverse strains of mice. Physiol Behav. 2017 Apr 12;177:34-43. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2017.04.007. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 28411104.
  • Nimitvilai S, Uys JD, Woodward JJ, Randall PK, Ball LE, Williams RW, Jones BC, Lu L, Grant KA, Mulholland PJ. Orbitofrontal Neuroadaptations and Cross-Species Synaptic Biomarkers in Heavy-Drinking Macaques. J Neurosci. 2017 Mar 29;37(13):3646-3660. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0133-17.2017. Epub 2017 Mar 7. PubMed PMID: 28270566; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5373140.
  • Siroky BJ, Kleene NK, Kleene SJ, Varnell CD Jr, Comer RG, Liu J, Lu L, Pachciarz NW, Bissler JJ, Dixon BP. Primary cilia regulate the osmotic stress response of renal epithelial cells through TRPM3. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2017 Apr 1;312(4):F791-F805. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.00465.2015. Epub 2017 Jan 25. PubMed PMID: 28122715; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5407065.
  • Baker JA, Li J, Zhou D, Yang M, Cook MN, Jones BC, Mulligan MK, Hamre KM, Lu L. Analyses of differentially expressed genes after exposure to acute stress, acute ethanol, or a combination of both in mice. Alcohol. 2017 Feb;58:139-151. doi: 10.1016/j.alcohol.2016.08.008. Epub 2016 Dec 16. PubMed PMID: 28027852; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5270764.
  • Zuo L, Garcia-Milian R, Guo X, Zhong C, Tan Y, Wang Z, Wang J, Wang X, Kang L, Lu L, Chen X, Li CR, Luo X. Replicated Risk Nicotinic Cholinergic Receptor Genes for Nicotine Dependence. Genes (Basel). 2016 Nov 7;7(11). pii: E95. PubMed PMID: 27827986; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5126781.
  • Zhang FF, Ojha RP, Krull KR, Gibson TM, Lu L, Lanctot J, Chemaitilly W, Robison LL, Hudson MM. Adult Survivors of Childhood Cancer Have Poor Adherence to Dietary Guidelines. J Nutr. 2016 Dec;146(12):2497-2505. Epub 2016 Oct 19. PubMed PMID: 27798341; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5118766.

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