Effects of PCSK-9 Inhibition by Alirocumab Treatments on Biliary Cirrhotic Rats

Hui Chun Huang, Shao Jung Hsu, Ching Chih Chang*, Chiao Lin Chuang, Ming Chih Hou, Fa Yauh Lee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hyperlipidemia and oxidative stress with elevated oxidized low-density lipoprotein (ox-LDL) exacerbate hepatic inflammation and fibrosis. The plasma level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is controlled by proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin 9 (PCSK9). Alirocumab is a monoclo-nal antibody that decreases LDL via inhibiting PCSK9 function. Apart from lipid-lowering effects, alirocumab exerts anti-inflammation, anti-angiogenesis and anti-oxidant effects. This study aims to investigate the impact of alirocumab treatment on common bile duct ligation (BDL)-induced biliary cirrhotic rats. After a 4-week treatment of alirocumab, the hemodynamic data, blood biochemistry, ox-LDL level, oxidative stress markers, severity of hepatic encephalopathy and abnormal angiogen-esis of BDL rats were measured and compared to the control group. BDL rats presented cirrhotic pictures and elevated ammonia, total cholesterol, LDL and ox-LDL levels compared to the control group. Alirocumab decreased plasma levels of total cholesterol, LDL, and oxidative stress markers; however, it did not affect the hemodynamics, liver and renal biochemistry, and the plasma levels of ammonia and ox-LDL. The motor activities, portal-systemic collaterals and mesenteric vascular density were not significantly different between alirocumab-treated and control groups. In addi-tion, it did not affect hepatic inflammation, intrahepatic angiogenesis, liver fibrosis and free cholesterol accumulation in the liver of BDL rats. In conclusion, PCSK9 inhibition by alirocumab treatment ameliorates hyperlipidemia and systemic oxidative stress in biliary cirrhotic rats. However, it does not affect the plasma level of ox-LDL, intrahepatic inflammation and fibrosis. In addition, PCSK9 inhibition has a neutral effect on abnormal angiogenesis and hepatic encephalopathy in biliary cir-rhotic rats.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7378
JournalInternational Journal Of Molecular Sciences
Issue number13
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2022


  • hepatic encephalopathy
  • liver cirrhosis
  • oxidized low-density lipoprotein
  • PCSK9 inhibitor


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