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Association of PCSK-9 with the Biomarkers of Type-2 Diabetes and its Complications in the Indian Population: a Pilot Study by Mohd Waiz, Sahir Sultan Alvi, Saheem Ahmad, M. Salman Khan

Background: Proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type-9 (PCSK-9) is a serine protease with profound effects on plasma LDL-C, the major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). However, plasma PCSK-9 level and its association with the biomarkers of CVDs, diabetes, and associated complications have not yet been reported in the northeastern population of India.
Methods: Of the total cohort (n = 233), we analyzed healthy controls (HC; n = 50), freshly diagnosed type-2-diabetes mellitus (T2DM-FD; n = 46), T2DM treated (T2DM-T; n = 49), diabetic nephropathy (T2DM-N; n = 43), and diabetic dyslipidemia (T2DM-DL; n = 45) subjects. Plasma PCSK-9 and other biological determinants associated with T2DM, CVD, and nephrotic dysfunction were assessed.
Results: The level of plasma PCSK-9 in HC, T2DM-FD, T2DM-T, T2DM-N, and T2DM-DL groups was found to be 184.1 ± 13.83, 183.1 ± 24.4.3, 241.8 ± 75.42, 403.7 ± 85.94, and 641.3 ± 135.5 ng/mL, respectively, indicating its role in the severity of the here-mentioned complications. Moreover, plasma PCSK-9 levels further showed a significant correlation with the biomarkers of hyperglycemia, particularly HbA1c, as well as LDL-C in T2DM-FD, T2DM-N, and T2DM-DL subjects of the Indian population, while moderate association in T2DM-T subjects.
Conclusions: Our first-of-its-kind clinical study aiming to quantify the circulatory PCSK-9 level in the Indian population concluded that elevated PCSK-9 was significantly associated with the severity of diabetes and associated complications. Moreover, such elevation in PCSK-9 might be attributed to the lipid- and glucoselowering medication-induced SREBP-2-dependent mechanisms. Since our conclusion is based on a pilot study, further cohort studies in larger populations of India are required to get a generalization regarding the role of PCSK-9 in DM and associated complications.

DOI: 10.7754/Clin.Lab.2023.230602