Purpose of review
Current data suggest that proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) inhibitors may affect many metabolic pathways beyond lowering LDL cholesterol. The aim of the present manuscript is to present these so-called pleiotropic effects of PCSK9 inhibitors.
PCSK9 may affect the activity of other receptors beyond LDL receptors (LDLR), such as cluster of differentiation 36 (CD36), very-low-density-lipoprotein (VLDL) receptors, apolipoprotein (Apo) E receptors, LDLR-related protein 1 (LRP-1) and ATP-Binding Cassette Transporter (ABCA1). Thus, a role of PCSK9 in the development of atherosclerosis, in vascular wall inflammation and in platelet function has been suggested. Additionally, PCSK9 inhibitors may affect lipid variables beyond LDL cholesterol, carbohydrate variables, as well as they may affect brain and kidney function. Additionally, a controversial role of PCSK9 in sepsis, hepatitis C infection and Alzheimer's disease has been suggested.
These possible pleiotropic effects of PCSK9 inhibitors need further research, as they may affect cardiovascular risk and provide further insights in the development of atherosclerosis and other diseases such as Alzheimer's disease or chronic viral infection and sepsis.