Objectives: Proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 is a central regulator of lipid metabolism and has been implicated in regulating the host response to sepsis. Proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 loss-of-function is associated with improved sepsis outcomes in the adult host through increased hepatic bacterial clearance. Thus, there is interest in leveraging proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 inhibitors as a therapeutic strategy in adults with sepsis. We sought to validate this association in children with septic shock and in a juvenile murine model of sepsis. Design: Prospectively enrolled cohort of children with septic shock; experimental mice. Setting: Seventeen participating institutions; research laboratory. Patients and Subjects: Five-hundred twenty-two children with septic shock; juvenile (14 d old) and adult (10-14 wk) mice with constitutive proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 null and wildtype control mice (C57BL/6). Interventions: Proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 single-nucleotide polymorphisms, serum proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9, and lipid profiles in patients. Cecal slurry murine model of sepsis; survival studies in juvenile and adult mice, assessment of lipoprotein fractions, bacterial burden, and inflammation in juvenile mice. Measurements and Main Results: PCSK9 loss-of-function genetic variants were independently associated with increased odds of complicated course and mortality in children with septic shock. PCSK9, low-density lipoprotein, and high-density lipoprotein concentrations were lower among patients with complicated course relative to those without. PCSK9 concentrations negatively correlated with proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-8. Proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 loss-of-function decreased survival in juvenile mice, but increased survival in adult mice with sepsis. PCSK9 loss-of-function resulted in low lipoproteins and decreased hepatic bacterial burden in juvenile mice. Conclusions: In contrast to the adult host, proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 loss-of-function is detrimental to the juvenile host with septic shock. PCSK9 loss-of-function, in the context of low lipoproteins, may result in reduced hepatic bacterial clearance in the juvenile host with septic shock. Our data indicate that children should be excluded in sepsis clinical trials involving proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 inhibitors.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine