Postprandial lipaemia, due to elevated plasma apolipoprotein (apo) B-48 concentrations, contributes to increased cardiovascular (CV) risk in obesity. Proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) and apoC-III may play a role in regulating triacylglycerol-rich lipoprotein (TRL)–apoB-48 metabolism. We investigated the associations between plasma PCSK9 and apoC-III concentrations and the kinetics of apoB-48 in obese subjects. Seventeen obese subjects were given an oral fat load. ApoB-48 tracer/tracee ratios were measured after an intravenous 2H3-leucine administration using GC–MS. Kinetic parameters, including secretion and fractional catabolic rates (FCRs), were derived using a multi-compartmental model. Plasma PCSK9 and apoC-III concentrations were significantly and positively (P<0.05 in all) associated with the total area-under-curve (AUC) and incremental AUC for apoB-48 and inversely with TRL–apoB-48 FCR. Plasma PCSK9 and apoC-III concentrations were not correlated (P>0.05 in all) with basal secretion or the number of TRL–apoB-48 secreted over the postprandial period. In the stepwise regression analysis, plasma PCSK9 was the best predictor of the total and incremental AUCs for plasma apoB-48 and the FCR of TRL–apoB-48. The association between plasma PCSK9 and apoC-III and TRL–apoB-48 FCR remained significant (P<0.05 in all) after adjusting for age, homoeostasis model assessment (HOMA) score, hepatic lipase or lipoprotein lipase (LPL). In a multiple regression model, 31% of variance in TRL–apoB-48 FCR was accounted for by plasma PCSK9 and apoC-III concentrations (adjusted R2=0.306, P<0.05). However, their associations with TRL–apoB-48 FCR were not independent of each other. Our results suggest that the catabolism of TRL–apoB-48 in the postprandial state may be co-ordinated by PCSK9 and apoC-III in obese individuals.

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