Reverse Cholesterol Transport Revisited
Contribution of Biliary Versus Intestinal Cholesterol Excretion
Reverse cholesterol transport (RCT) is usually defined as high-density lipoprotein-mediated transport of excess cholesterol from peripheral tissues, including cholesterol-laden macrophages in vessel walls, to the liver. From the liver, cholesterol can then be removed from the body via secretion into the bile for eventual disposal via the feces. According to this paradigm, high plasma high-density lipoprotein levels accelerate RCT and hence are atheroprotective. New insights in individual steps of the RCT pathway, in part derived from innovative mouse models, indicate that the classical concept of RCT may require modification.
- Received November 11, 2010.
- Accepted April 28, 2011.
- © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.