Genetics and molecular biologyLipoprotein receptors in the vascular wallHerz, Joachima; Hui, David YbAuthor Information aDepartment of Molecular Genetics, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas and bDepartment of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA Correspondence to Joachim Herz, Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75390-9046, USA E-mail: Joachim.Herz@UTSouthwestern.edu Current Opinion in Lipidology: April 2004 - Volume 15 - Issue 2 - p 175-181 Buy Abstract Purpose of review We will discuss the diverse roles of lipoprotein receptors that contribute to the maintenance and integrity of the vascular wall. Recent findings Lipoprotein receptors function not only as transporters for cholesterol and other lipids. They also act as sensors and signal transducers through which the endothelium, macrophages and smooth muscle cells communicate with their environment. Summary Traditionally, lipoprotein receptors were thought of merely as transporters of cholesterol and triglycerides to specific target cells, either for the purpose of delivery and redistribution of nutrients, or for the destruction or clearance of modified (oxidized) lipids by macrophages. Only recently have we begun to appreciate that the same receptors engage in a much more sophisticated and multi-facetted interaction with their environment. Inasmuch, they not only act as mere transporters, but as surprisingly versatile and adaptive signal transducers and modulators throughout the vessel wall. These recent findings now begin to reshape our thinking of how such structurally different and evolutionarily unrelated lipoprotein receptors orchestrate the response of the vessel wall to mechanical or metabolic damage. © 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.