Cardiovascular diseases, especially atherosclerosis and its complications, are a leading cause of death. Inhibition of the non-canonical IκB kinases TBK1 and IKKε with amlexanox restores insulin sensitivity and glucose homeostasis in diabetic mice and human subjects. Here we report that amlexanox improves diet-induced hypertriglyceridemia and hypercholesterolemia in Western diet (WD)-fed Ldlr-/- mice, and protects against atherogenesis. Amlexanox ameliorates dyslipidemia, inflammation and vascular dysfunction through synergistic actions that involve upregulation of bile acid synthesis to increase cholesterol excretion. Transcriptomic profiling demonstrates an elevated expression of key bile acid synthesis genes. Furthermore, we found that amlexanox attenuates monocytosis, eosinophilia and vascular dysfunction during WD-induced atherosclerosis. These findings demonstrate the potential of amlexanox as a new therapy for hypercholesterolemia and atherosclerosis.
Peng Zhao, Xiaoli Sun, Zhongji Liao, Hong Yu, Dan Li, Zeyang Shen, Christopher K. Glass, Joseph L. Witztum, Alan R. Saltiel