Apolipoprotein E (apoE) is a multifunctional protein with an expanding role in the neurobiology of disease. Although originally described in the context of cholesterol metabolism, interest in the neurobiology of apoE has intensified following the association between apoE genotype and risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. Recent clinical observations also suggest that apoE genotype may influence recovery after a variety of neurological insults. Thus, in addition to the study of disease-specific mechanisms by which apoE may modulate susceptibility of developing Alzheimer's disease, there has been an increasing focus on its role in modulating the CNS response to acute injury. Although the neurobiology of apoE in the injured brain remains incompletely defined, there is evidence to suggest neurotrophic, immunomodulatory, and antioxidant effects.