The liver X receptors (LXRs) are nuclear receptors activated by oxysterols that are now recognized to play an important role in the control of lipid homeostasis. LXRs have been implicated in the regulation of cholesterol and fatty acid metabolism in multiple tissues, including liver and intestine, as well as in macrophages. The importance of these receptors in physiological lipid metabolism suggests that they may also influence the development of metabolic disorders such as hyperlipidemia and atherosclerosis. Strong support for this idea has been provided by recent studies that directly linked LXR activity to the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. These observations identify the LXR pathway as an attractive target for intervention in cardiovascular disease.