Oxidation of low density lipoprotein (LDL) results in changes to the lipoprotein that are potentially atherogenic. Numerous studies have shown that macrophages cultured in vitro can promote LDL oxidation via a transition metal-dependent process, yet the exact mechanisms that are responsible for macrophage-mediated LDL oxidation are not understood. One contributing mechanism may be the ability of macrophages to reduce transition metals. Reduced metals (such as Fe(II) or Cu(I)) rapidly react with lipid hydroperoxides, leading to the formation of reactive lipid radicals and conversion of the reduced metal to its oxidized form. We demonstrate here the ability of macrophages to reduce extracellular iron and copper and identify a contributing mechanism. Evidence is provided that a proportion of cell-mediated metal reduction is due to direct trans-plasma membrane electron transport. Glucagon suppressed both macrophage-mediated metal reduction and LDL oxidation. Although metal reduction was augmented when cells were provided with a substrate for thiol production, thiol export was not a strict requirement for cell-mediated metal reduction. Similarly, while the metal-dependent acceleration of LDL oxidation by macrophages was augmented by thiol production, macrophages could still promote LDL oxidation when thiol export was minimized (by substrate limitation). This study identifies a novel mechanism that may contribute to macrophage-mediated LDL oxidation and may also reveal potential new strategies for the inhibition of this process.