Liver X receptor β regulates the development of the dentate gyrus and autistic-like behavior in the mouse

Yulong Cai, Xiaotong Tang, Xi Chen, Xin Li, Ying Wang, Xiaohang Bao, Lian Wang, Dayu Sun, Jinghui Zhao, Yan Xing, Margaret Warner, Haiwei Xu, Jan Åke Gustafssone, Xiaotang Fan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


The dentate gyrus (DG) of the hippocampus is a laminated brain region in which neurogenesis begins during early embryonic development and continues until adulthood. Recent studies have implicated that defects in the neurogenesis of the DG seem to be involved in the genesis of autism spectrum disorders (ASD)-like behaviors. Liver X receptor β (LXRβ) has recently emerged as an important transcription factor involved in the development of laminated CNS structures, but little is known about its role in the development of the DG. Here, we show that deletion of the LXRβ in mice causes hypoplasia in the DG, including abnormalities in the formation of progenitor cells and granule cell differentiation. We also found that expression of Notch1, a central mediator of progenitor cell selfrenewal, is reduced in LXRβ-null mice. In addition, LXRβ deletion in mice results in autistic-like behaviors, including abnormal social interaction and repetitive behavior. These data reveal a central role for LXRβ in orchestrating the timely differentiation of neural progenitor cells within the DG, thereby providing a likely explanation for its association with the genesis of autism-related behaviors in LXRβ-deficient mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E2725-E2733
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number12
StatePublished - Mar 20 2018


  • Autism
  • Dentate gyrus
  • Development
  • LXRβ
  • Progenitor cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Liver X receptor β regulates the development of the dentate gyrus and autistic-like behavior in the mouse'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this