Apolipoprotein E plays a key protective role in atherosclerosis. Its capacity to safeguard against this disease can be attributed to at least three distinct functions. First, plasma apolipoprotein E maintains overall plasma cholesterol homeostasis by facilitating efficient hepatic uptake of lipoprotein remnants. Second, lesion apolipoprotein E in concert with apolipoprotein A-I facilitates cellular cholesterol efflux from macrophage foam cells within the intima of the lesion. Third, lesion apolipoprotein E directly modifies both macrophage- and T lymphocyte-mediated immune responses that contribute to this chronic inflammatory disease.
The Scripps Research Institute, Departments of Immunologya and Vascular Biologyb, La Jolla, California, USA
Correspondence to Linda K. Curtiss, The Scripps Research Institute, Departments of Immunology and Vascular Biology, 10550 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037. Tel +1 858 784 8248; fax: +1 858 784 9144; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org