It has long been recognized that the bone marrow is the primary site of origin for circulating monocytes that may later become macrophages in atherosclerotic lesions. However, only in recent times has the complex relationship among the bone marrow, monocytes/macrophages, and atherosclerotic plaques begun to be understood. Moreover, the systemic nature of these interactions, which also involves additional compartments such as extramedullary hematopoietic sites (i.e., spleen), is only just becoming apparent. In parallel, progressive advances in imaging and cell labeling techniques have opened new opportunities for in vivo imaging of monocyte/macrophage trafficking in atherosclerotic lesions and at the systemic level. In this Part 3 of a 4-part review series covering the macrophage in cardiovascular disease, the authors intersect systemic biology with advanced imaging techniques to explore monocyte and macrophage dynamics in the cardiovascular system, with an emphasis on how events at the systemic level might affect local atherosclerotic plaque biology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2198-2212
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number18
StatePublished - 30 Oct 2018


  • atherosclerosis
  • bone marrow
  • cardiovascular
  • imaging
  • macrophage


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