Caveolae are 50- to 100-nm cell surface plasma membrane invaginations present in terminally differentiated cells. They are characterized by the presence of caveolin-1, sphingolipids, and cholesterol. Caveolin-1 is thought to play an important role in the regulation of cellular cholesterol homeostasis, a process that needs to be properly controlled to limit and prevent cholesterol accumulation and eventually atherosclerosis. We have recently generated caveolin-1-deficient [Cav-1(-/-)] mice in which caveolae organelles are completely eliminated from all cell types, except cardiac and skeletal muscle. In the present study, we examined the metabolism of cholesterol in wild-type (WT) and Cav-1(-/-) mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) and mouse peritoneal macrophages (MPMs). We observed that Cav-1(-/-) MEFs are enriched in esterified cholesterol but depleted of free cholesterol compared with their wild-type counterparts. Similarly, Cav-1(-/-) MPMs also contained less free cholesterol and were enriched in esterified cholesterol on cholesterol loading. In agreement with this finding, caveolin-1 deficiency was associated with reduced free cholesterol synthesis but increased acyl-CoAcholesterol acyl-transferase (ACAT) activity. In wild-type MPMs, we observed that caveolin-1 was markedly upregulated on cholesterol loading. Despite these differences, cellular cholesterol efflux from MEFs and MPMs to HDL was not affected in the Cav-1-deficient cells. Neither ATP-binding cassette transporter G1 (ABCG1)- nor scavenger receptor class B type I (SR-BI)-mediated cholesterol efflux was affected. Cellular cholesterol efflux to apolipoprotein A-I was not significantly reduced in Cav-1(-/-) MPMs compared with wild-type MPMs. However, ABCA1-mediated cholesterol efflux was clearly more sensitive to the inhibitory effects of glyburide in Cav-1(-/-) MPMs versus WT MPMs. Taken together, these findings suggest that caveolin-1 plays an important role in the regulation of intracellular cholesterol homeostasis and can modulate the activity of other proteins that are involved in the regulation of intracellular cholesterol homeostasis.