A drug used to treat aphthous ulcers reversed obesity and diabetes in lab mice, according to results of a study.
Amlexanox, used in the United States to treat canker sores, was tested by researchers with the University of Michigan’s Life Science Institute for its impact on diabetes and obesity in mice, according to a university news release. Investigators treated mice with high-fat diets, but gave one group amlexanox.
The drug inhibited two genes, IKKE and TBK1, allowing for an elevated energy release through increased thermogenesis, according to the study abstract. The result was weight loss, improved insulin sensitivity and decreased steatosis in the mice treated with amlexanox.
The effectiveness of amlexanox for treating obesity and diabetes in humans, however, has yet to be studied, authors noted.
“Because of its record of safety in patients, amlexanox may be an interesting candidate for clinical evaluation in the treatment of obesity and related disorders,” study authors concluded.
The study was published online Feb. 10 in Nature Medicine.