Endothelial lipase (EL) is a determinant of high density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C) level, which is negatively correlated with atherosclerosis susceptibility. We found no difference in aortic atherosclerotic lesion areas between 26-week-old EL+/+ apolipoprotein E-deficient (apoE-/-) and EL-/- apoE-/- mice. To more firmly establish the role of EL in atherosclerosis, we extended our study to EL-/- and EL+/+ low density lipoprotein receptor-deficient (LDLR-/-) mice that were fed a Western diet. Morphometric analysis again revealed no difference in atherosclerosis lesion area between the two groups. Compared with EL+/+ mice, we found increased HDL-C in EL-/- mice with apoE-/- or LDLR-/- background but no difference in macrophage content between lesions of EL-/- and EL+/+ mice in apoE-/- or LDLR-/- background. EL inactivation had no effect on hepatic mRNAs of proteins involved in reverse cholesterol transport. A survey of lipid homeostasis in EL+/+ and EL-/- macrophages revealed that oxidized LDL-induced ABCA1 was attenuated in EL-/- macrophages. This potentially proatherogenic change may have nullified any minor protective increase of HDL in EL-/- mice. Thus, although EL modulated lipoprotein profile in mice, there was no effect of EL inactivation on atherosclerosis development in two hyperlipidemic atherosclerosis-prone mouse models.