To find out whether CD36 plays a role in the human lipoprotein metabolism, we studied lipoprotein profiles in subjects with CD36 deficiency. Apparently healthy Japanese volunteers (n = 790) were classified by flow cytometry into three groups of normal (platelet and monocyte CD36+, n = 741, 93.8%), type-II deficiency (platelet CD36- and monocyte CD36+, n = 45, 5.7%), and type-I deficiency (platelet and monocyte CD36-, n = 4, 0.5%). At least one of reported mutations in the CD36 gene was found in all four subjects with type-I deficiency and in 23 of the 45 subjects with type II. Among 779 subjects (731 normals, 44 type II, and four type I) with serum triglyceride levels of <400 mg/dL, serum total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol were significantly elevated in type-II deficiency (P = 0.0095 and 0.0382 versus normal, respectively, Scheffe's F-test), while differences were not significant in triglyceride and high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol. Similar tendency was observed in type-I deficiency, although the differences were not statistically significant because of small sample size. We conclude that CD36 deficiency elevates LDL cholesterol, indicating a contribution of CD36 to LDL metabolism.