CCR2 expression on circulating monocytes is associated with arterial wall inflammation assessed by 18F-FDG PET/CT in patients at risk for cardiovascular disease

Simone L. Verweij*, Raphaël Duivenvoorden, Lotte C.A. Stiekema, Nick S. Nurmohamed, Fleur M. Van Der Valk, Miranda Versloot, Hein J. Verberne, Erik S.G. Stroes, Matthias Nahrendorf, Siroon Bekkering, Sophie J. Bernelot Moens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Aims Circulating monocytes infiltrate the plaque and differentiate into macrophages, contributing to an inflammatory environment which is associated with higher risk of cardiovascular events. Although the pivotal role of circulating monocytes in plaque inflammation has been firmly established, the search continues to identify specific monocyte subsets that may be especially atherogenic. Therefore, we evaluated the relation between monocyte phenotype, particularly surface receptor expression, and arterial wall inflammation in patients at increased cardiovascular risk. Methods and results We performed a multivariate linear regression analysis in 79 patients at increased cardiovascular risk who had both an 18 F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography to assess arterial wall inflammation and extensive monocyte characterization (using flow cytometry). We found that CCR2, a monocyte chemokine receptor essential for transmigration, significantly correlates with arterial wall inflammation. This relationship was independent of traditional cardiovascular risk factors and statin use (β = 0.429, P = 0.015). We found no relation between arterial wall inflammation and monocyte count or monocyte subsets, namely CD14+CD16', CD14+CD16+, CD14+CD16 ++, CCR5+, CD18+, CD11b+, or CD11c+ monocytes. Conclusion Monocyte CCR2 expression is associated with arterial wall inflammation in patients at increased cardiovascular risk. Our data warrant further studies to assess if inhibition of CCR2 may attenuate atherosclerotic plaque inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)468-475
Number of pages8
JournalCardiovascular Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018

Cite this