Lipocalin-type prostaglandin (PG) D synthase (L-PGDS) is expressed in adipocytes and is proposed to be involved in the regulation of glucose tolerance and atherosclerosis in type 2 diabetes, because L-PGDS gene knock-out mice show abnormalities in these functions. However, the role of L-PGDS and the regulation mechanism governing its gene expression in adipocytes remain unclear. Here, we applied small interference RNA of L-PGDS to mouse 3T3-L1 cells and found that it suppressed differentiation of these cells into adipocytes. Reporter analysis of the mouse L-PGDS promoter demonstrated that a responsive element for liver receptor homolog-1 (LRH-1) at -233 plays a critical role in preadipocytic 3T3-L1 cells. Moreover, we identified two sterol regulatory elements (SREs) at -194 to be cis-elements for activation of L-PGDS gene expression in adipocytic 3T3-L1 cells. L-PGDS mRNA was induced in response to synthetic liver X receptor agonist, T0901317, through activation of the expression of SRE-binding protein-1c (SREBP-1c) in the adipocytic 3T3-L1 cells. The results of electrophoretic mobility shift assay and chromatin immunoprecipitation assay revealed that LRH-1 and SREBP-1c bound to their respective binding elements in the promoter of L-PGDS gene. Small interference RNA-mediated suppression of LRH-1 or SREBP-1c decreased L-PGDS gene expression in preadipocytic or adipocytic 3T3-L1 cells, respectively. These results indicate that L-PGDS gene expression is activated by LRH-1 in preadipocytes and by SREBP-1c in adipocytes. Liver X receptor-mediated up-regulation of L-PGDS through activation of SREBP-1c is a novel path-way to enhance adipocyte differentiation.