‘One of the reasons that diets are so ineffective in producing weight loss for some people is that their bodies adjust to the reduced calories by also reducing their metabolism, so that they are defending their body weight. Amlexanox seems to tweak the metabolic response to excessive calorie storage in mice,’ said Alan Saltiel, director of the Life Sciences Institute.
‘Amlexanox appears to work in mice by inhibiting the two genes IKKE and TBK1 that we think together act as a sort of brake on metabolism. By releasing the brake, amlexanox seems to free the metabolic system to burn more, and possibly store less, energy,’ explained Saltiel. ‘These studies tell us that, at least in mice, the IKKE/TBK1 pathway plays an important role in defending body weight by increasing storage and decreasing burning of calories, and that by inhibiting that pathway with a compound, we can increase metabolism and induce weight loss, reverse diabetes and reduce fatty liver,’ he added.
Pinney adds, “In our study, giving Exendin-4 during the newborn period had permanent beneficial effects on beta cells. This could be important for people, in whom abnormal changes in infancy may irreversibly alter beta cells and lead to adult-onset diabetes. If we can establish that treating at-risk human babies with exendin-4 or a similar compound has corresponding effects, we may have a new preventive approach for Type 2 diabetes.”