There are several well-documented functions of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) that may explain the ability of these lipoproteins to protect against atherosclerosis. The best recognized of these is the ability of HDL to promote the efflux of cholesterol from cells. This process may minimize the accumulation of foam cells in the artery wall. However, HDL has additional properties that may also be antiatherogenic. For example, HDL is an effective antioxidant. The major proteins of HDL, apoA-I and apoA-II, as well as other proteins such as paraoxonase that cotransport with HDL in plasma, are well-known to have antioxidant properties. As a consequence, HDL has the capacity to inhibit the oxidative modification of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in a process that reduces the atherogenicity of these lipoproteins. HDL also possesses other antiinflammatory properties. By virtue of their ability to inhibit the expression of adhesion molecules in endothelial cells, they reduce the recruitment of blood monocytes into the artery wall. These antioxidant and antiinflammatory properties of HDL may be as important as its cholesterol efflux function in terms of protecting against the development of atherosclerosis.