It has been proposed that high density lipoproteins (HDLs) function jointly with lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase and CETP to facilitate cholesterol transport from tissues to the liver. This mechanism, referred to as reverse cholesterol transport, is physiologically important because it maintains systemic cholesterol levels. CETP is responsible for neutral lipid transfer activity in plasma in numerous species. Since CETP is able to accelerate specifically the exchange of lipid components between pro- and anti-atherogenic lipoprotein fractions, it may be a key determinant of the global atherogenicity of the plasma lipoprotein profile and arises as a possible target in atherosclerosis prevention. CETP has an important role in reverse cholesterol transport and shaping and affecting the composition of plasma lipoproteins. In general elevated levels of CETP have been associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease.