PCSK9 and inflammation: A review of experimental and clinical evidence
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Proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin Type 9 (PCSK9) is now identified as an important and major player in hypercholesterolaemia and atherosclerosis pathophysiology. PCSK9, through promoting lysosomal degradation of hepatic low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor, can decrease the clearance of plasma LDLs, leading to hypercholesterolaemia and consequent atherosclerotic plaque formation. Hypercholesterolaemia has been found to promote systemic and vascular inflammation, which can cause atherosclerotic lesion formation and progression and subsequent incidence of cardiovascular disease. Recent studies have shown the involvement of PCSK9 in the inflammatory pathway of atherosclerosis. Although trials with PCSK9 inhibitors have not shown any alteration in plasma C-reactive protein levels, there is accumulating evidence showing lessened inflammatory response in the arterial wall that could attenuate atherosclerotic plaque development beyond the established LDL-lowering effect of PCSK9 inhibition. In this review, we represent mounting evidence indicating that PCSK9 can locally increase vascular inflammation and contribute to atherosclerotic plaque progression in patients with hypercholesterolaemia. © 2019 Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved.
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