To elucidate the deposition of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) in aortic atherosclerosis, aortic walls were obtained from 25 autopsy cases and examined immunohistochemically and immunoelectron microscopically with a monoclonal antibody specific for AGEs, 6D12. Among the autopsy cases, atherosclerotic lesions were found in the aortas of 22 cases and were composed of diffuse intimal thickening, fatty streaks, atherosclerotic plaques, and/or complicated lesions. In these cases, intracellular AGE accumulation was demonstrated in the intimal lesions of aortic atherosclerosis in 12 cases. Compared with the diffuse intimal thickening, intracellular AGE accumulation was marked in the fatty streaks and atherosclerotic plaques. Immunohistochemical double staining with 6D12 and monoclonal antibodies for macrophages or muscle actin or a polyclonal antibody for scavenger receptors demonstrated that the AGE accumulation in macrophages or their related foam cells was marked in the diffuse intimal thickening and fatty streak lesions and that almost all macrophages and macrophage-derived foam cells possessed scavenger receptors. Immunoelectron microscopic observation revealed the localization of 6D12-positive reaction in lysosomal lipid vacuoles or electron-dense granules of the foam cells. These results indicate that AGE accumulation occurs in macrophages, smooth muscle cells, and their related foam cells.