Monocyte subtypes and the CCR2 chemokine receptor in cardiovascular disease

Clin Sci (Lond). 2017 Jun 1;131(12):1215-1224. doi: 10.1042/CS20170009.


Monocytes circulate in the blood and migrate to inflammatory tissues, but their functions can be either detrimental or beneficial, depending on their phenotypes. In humans, classical monocytes are inflammatory cluster of differentiation (CD)14++CD16-CCR2++ cells originated from the bone marrow or spleen reservoirs and comprise ≥92% of monocytes. Intermediate monocytes (CD14++CD16+CCR2+) are involved in the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines [such as interleukin (IL)-10], reactive oxygen species (ROS), and proinflammatory mediators [such as tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and IL-1β). Nonclassical monocytes (CD14+CD16++CCR2-) are patrolling cells involved in tissue repair and debris removal from the vasculature. Many studies in both humans and animals have shown the importance of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) and its receptor [chemokine receptor of MCP-1 (CCR2)] in pathologies, such as atherosclerosis and myocardial infarction (MI). This review presents the importance of these monocyte subsets in cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), and sheds light on new strategies for the blocking of the MCP-1/CCR2 axis as a therapeutic goal for treating vascular disorders.

Keywords: atherosclerosis; chemokine receptor CCR2; monocyte chemoattractant protein-1; monocyte subtypes; myocardial infarction.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cardiovascular Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / drug therapy
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / immunology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / metabolism*
  • Chemokine CCL2 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Chemokine CCL2 / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Monocytes / classification
  • Monocytes / drug effects
  • Monocytes / immunology
  • Monocytes / metabolism*
  • Phenotype
  • Receptors, CCR2 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Receptors, CCR2 / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • CCL2 protein, human
  • CCR2 protein, human
  • Cardiovascular Agents
  • Chemokine CCL2
  • Ligands
  • Receptors, CCR2