Atherosclerosis. 2010 Sep;212(1):246-51. Epub 2010 May 25.

Costet, P, MM Hoffmann, B. Cariou, B. Guyomarc'h Delasalle, T. Konrad, K. Winkler.

OBJECTIVE: Proprotein convertase subtilisin kexin/type 9 (PCSK9) is an inhibitor of the low density (LDL) lipoprotein receptor. Plasma PCSK9 is increased by Fenofibrate and statins. Here, we determined how standard dose of statin and combined therapy with Fenofibrate modulate PCSK9.

METHODS: Randomized, open-label cross-over study investigating the effect of Fenofibrate (160mg), Atorvastatin (10mg), and combination of both in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and atherogenic dyslipidemia. After the single administration of Atorvastatin and Fenofibrate for 6 weeks, patients received both for another 6 weeks. PCSK9, lipids and lipoproteins levels were determined at day 1, weeks 6, 9 and 12.

RESULTS: Upon 6 weeks of treatment, Atorvastatin decreased LDL-cholesterol by 30% (p<0.001) and Fenofibrate decreased triglyceride level by 31% (p<0.01) and increased HDL-cholesterol by 13% (p<0.05). Combination did not show further benefit. Atorvastatin increased PCSK9 by 24% at day 1 and by 14% at week 6 (p</=0.01). Fenofibrate increased PCSK9 by 26% at week 6 (p</=0.01), but had no effect at day 1. Three weeks of combination therapy increased PCSK9 by 42%, 6 weeks by 19% (p</=0.01). PCSK9 changes were not different between treatments over 6-week periods.

CONCLUSION: Fenofibrate and Atorvastatin increased circulating PCSK9 in diabetic patients, with no additive effect after 6 weeks of combined therapy.