Role of hepatic lipase and endothelial lipase in high-density lipoprotein-mediated reverse cholesterol transport

Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2011 Jun;13(3):257-65. doi: 10.1007/s11883-011-0175-2.


Reverse cholesterol transport (RCT) constitutes a key part of the atheroprotective properties of high-density lipoproteins (HDL). Hepatic lipase (HL) and endothelial lipase (EL) are negative regulators of plasma HDL cholesterol levels. Although overexpression of EL decreases overall macrophage-to-feces RCT, knockout of both HL and EL leaves RCT essentially unaffected. With respect to important individual steps of RCT, current data on the role of EL and HL in cholesterol efflux are not conclusive. Both enzymes increase hepatic selective cholesterol uptake; however, this does not translate into altered biliary cholesterol secretion, which is regarded the final step of RCT. Also, the impact of HL and EL on atherosclerosis is not clear cut; rather it depends on respective experimental conditions and chosen models. More mechanistic insights into the diverse biological properties of these enzymes are therefore required to firmly establish EL and HL as targets for the treatment of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Atherosclerosis* / enzymology
  • Atherosclerosis* / genetics
  • Biological Transport
  • Cholesterol, HDL / metabolism*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Drug Design
  • Endothelium / enzymology*
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Humans
  • Lipase / genetics
  • Lipase / metabolism*
  • Lipid Metabolism / drug effects
  • Lipid Metabolism / genetics
  • Liver / enzymology*
  • Macrophages / enzymology
  • Mice
  • Phospholipases / metabolism
  • Polymorphism, Genetic


  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Phospholipases
  • Lipase