Proprotein Convertase Subtilisin/Kexin Type 9 (PCSK9) Is Not Induced in Artificial Human Inflammation and Is Not Correlated with Inflammatory Response

Infect Immun. 2020 Feb 20;88(3):e00842-19. doi: 10.1128/IAI.00842-19. Print 2020 Feb 20.


Lipoproteins, as well as proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9), have been shown to play a key role in the innate immune response. However, knowledge about the role and kinetics of PCSK9 in human inflammation is currently insufficient. This study aimed to investigate the interaction between inflammation and lipid metabolism, including the possible role of PCSK9. A single-blinded, placebo-controlled cross-over study using the human endotoxin model was performed. Ten healthy men received lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or placebo on two different study days after overnight fasting. Lipoproteins as well as PCSK9 were measured repetitively over 48 h. PCSK9 plasma concentrations were not induced by LPS infusion, and no correlation between PCSK9 plasma concentrations and the degree of inflammation could be identified. The observed low-density lipoprotein (LDL) response to inflammation was more complex than anticipated, especially in the very early phase after the inflammatory stimulus. Baseline concentrations of LDL, as well as high-density lipoprotein (HDL), correlated negatively with inflammatory response. Our data suggest that the lipoprotein response to inflammation is independent of PCSK9. The proposed elevations of PCSK9 and suspected correlations between PCSK9 levels and inflammatory response are not supported by our data. (This study has been registered at under registration no. NCT03392701.).

Keywords: LDL; LPS; PCSK9; human endotoxin model; inflammation; lipopolysaccharide; low-density lipoprotein; pathogen lipids; proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate / immunology*
  • Inflammation / blood
  • Inflammation / immunology*
  • Lipid Metabolism / physiology
  • Lipoproteins / blood*
  • Male
  • Proprotein Convertase 9 / immunology*
  • Young Adult


  • Lipoproteins
  • PCSK9 protein, human
  • Proprotein Convertase 9

Associated data