I am reading https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0179158 and I wonder why MI-401 Xanthene analog is not used for adiposity control? Also - there is very little research about this very promising molecule. Why is that? Or maybe there are better molecules for the adiposity control?

Maybe community of people who suffer from adipose conditions, can somehow advance this field of molecular methods? And advancement of this molecule specifically.

1 Answer 1


Short answer

They found a drug that kills adipose cells in a dish. It also kills other cells.

Longer answer

The Tung et al paper you cite says that when you put this compound on cultured adipocytes, mature adipocytes and preadipocytes die.

According to the authors, the mature cells are most susceptible, and they report that fibroblasts are less susceptible, although importantly they do not show any statistics for these claims and it looks like even if they are correct the therapeutic range is very, very narrow. They also haven't tested any other cells besides fibroblasts.

Basically, they found a drug that kills cells in a dish. Lots of drugs kill cells: that doesn't make them good treatments for anything.

Relevant XKCD:

XKCD vs cancer...

  • 1
    +1 for finding an xkcd comic that applies here.
    – Carey Gregory
    Sep 26, 2019 at 1:03

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