The purpose of this symposium was to provide a forum for the reporting of recent findings and the exchange of ideas concerning reverse cholesterol transport, an area of intense interest and some controversy. Data from epidemiological studies have consistently shown that elevated levels of high density lipoproteins (HDL) are an index of increased protection against coronary heart disease. However, the mechanism whereby HDL is involved in the prevention and/or reversal of atherosclerosis is unknown. According to one of the hypotheses, HDL acts as the primary acceptor of unesterified cholesterol from cells and functions jointly with the enzyme lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT) and the cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) to facilitate the movement of cholesterol from peripheral tissues to the plasma and ultimately to the liver. Although this mechanism as originally proposed by Glomset is an essential physiological mechanism, the clinical significance of this hypothesis remains unsubstantiated. Key elements of knowledge are lacking that would allow the linking of cholesterol efflux from cells and tissues with specific events in HDL metabolism, particularly those that are relevant to the prevention and/or reversal of atherosclerosis. Because of the intricate nature of the interaction between the components of reverse cholesterol transport, a conference involving the leading investigators of the field, where extensive discussion of the findings and ideas is allowed, appeared highly desirable. Indeed, from the distance of nearly 4 months, feedback from the participants indicates that the meeting was highly successful and the organizers feel that all the projected goals of the symposium were accomplished.