Since 2012, clinical trials dedicated to proprotein convertase subtilisin kexin type 9 (PCSK9) inhibition with monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have unambiguously demonstrated robust reductions not only in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (LDL-C) but also in lipoprotein (a) [Lp(a)] levels. The scientific literature published prior to those studies did not provide any evidence for a link between PCSK9 and Lp(a) metabolism. More recent investigations, either in vitro or in vivo, have attempted to unravel the mechanism(s) by which PCSK9 mAbs reduce circulating Lp(a) levels, with some showing a specific implication of the LDL receptor (LDLR) in Lp(a) clearance whereas others found no significant role for the LDLR in that process. This elusive pathway appears clearly distinct from that of the widely prescribed statins that also enhance LDLR function but do not lower circulating Lp (a) levels in humans. So how does PCSK9 inhibition with mAbs reduce Lp(a)? This still remains to be established.
The complexity of lipoprotein (a) lowering by PCSK9 monoclonal antibodies
Gilles Lambert, Aurélie Thedrez, Mikaël Croyal, Stéphane Ramin-Mangata, David Couret, Nicolas Diotel, Estelle Nobécourt-Dupuy, Michel Krempf, Jean Christophe LeBail, Bruno Poirier, Jorg Blankenstein, Elise F. Villard, Etienne Guillot; The complexity of lipoprotein (a) lowering by PCSK9 monoclonal antibodies. Clin Sci (Lond) 1 February 2017; 131 (4): 261–268. doi: https://doi.org/10.1042/CS20160403
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