Chronic macrophage-mediated inflammation is central to atherosclerosis. A role of the monocyte chemotactic and activating C-C chemokine JE/monocyte chemotactic protein-1 has been proposed. However, the human C-X-C chemokines growth-regulated oncogene (GROalpha) and IL-8, and their shared receptor, CXCR-2, also can be expressed at sites of chronic inflammation. Because we detected CXCR-2 in the intima of human atherosclerotic lesions, we examined the role of leukocyte CXCR-2 expression in affecting lesion cellularity. Atherosclerosis-susceptible LDL receptor-deficient mice were irradiated, successfully repopulated with bone marrow cells that either lacked or expressed mIL-8RH (the homologue of CXCR-2), and fed an atherogenic diet for 16 wk. In recipients of mIL-8RH+/+ marrow, mIL-8RH colocalized with densely accumulated intimal MOMA-2 positive macrophages. In contrast, lesions in recipients of mIL-8RH-/- marrow lacked mIL-8RH, had little intimal MOMA-2 staining, and were less extensive. The mIL-8RH ligand KC/GROalpha was detected in the intima of all aortic atherosclerotic lesions. Thus, the capacity of leukocytes to express mIL-8RH, and associated intralesional expression of its ligands such as KC/GROalpha, mediated the intimal accumulation of macrophages in atherosclerotic lesions of LDL receptor-deficient mice.