Discovery of novel biomarkers for atherosclerosis is important to aid in early diagnosis of pre-symptomatic patients at high risk of cardiovascular events. The aim of the present study was therefore to identify potential biomarkers in circulating cells reflecting atherosclerotic lesion progression in the vessel wall. We performed gene arrays on circulating leucocytes from atherosclerosis prone Apoe−/− mice with increasing ages, using C57BL/6 mice as healthy controls. We identified fatty acid binding protein 4 (FABP4) mRNA to be augmented in mice with established disease compared with young Apoe−/− or controls. Interestingly, the transcript FABP4 correlated significantly with lesion size, further supporting a disease associated increase. In addition, validation of our finding on protein level showed augmented FABP4 in circulating leucocytes whereas, importantly, no change could be observed in plasma. Immunofluorescence analysis demonstrated FABP4 to be present mainly in circulating neutrophils and to some extent in monocytes. Moreover, FABP4-positive neutrophils and macrophages could be identified in the subintimal space in the plaque. Using human circulating leucocytes, we confirmed the presence of FABP4 protein in neutrophils and monocytes. In conclusion, we have showed that cellular levels of FABP4 in circulating leucocytes associate with lesion development in the experimental Apoe−/− model. The increased expression is primarily localized to neutrophils, but also in monocytes. We have identified FABP4 in leucocytes as a potential and easy accessible biomarker of atherosclerosis which could be of future clinical relevance.