A process in which accumulated cholesterol is removed from tissues is called reverse cholesterol transport, including the artery wall and transported back to the liver for excretion.
Little is known about how cholesterol is removed from peripheral tissues, but a better understanding of these mechanisms could help in the development of therapies that treat atherosclerosis and other cholesterol-related disorders. In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, researchers led by Gwendalyn Randolph and colleagues at Washington University in St. Louis examined the role of the lymphatic system in RCT.
The lymphatic system generally mediates transport of large molecules from the area around blood vessels into the blood. Randolph and colleagues tracked RCT in a mouse model of atherosclerosis with normal and impaired lymphatic growth.