Leukocyte recruitment is a hallmark feature of the inflammatory response. This review summarizes the generally accepted paradigm of leukocyte recruitment based on studies using intravital microscopy to visualize the microcirculation. The role of selectins and alpha4-integrin in rolling as well as integrin-mediated adhesion is discussed. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that the recruitment cascade within organs differs and therefore the review also attempts to highlight what is and is not known regarding leukocyte recruitment into the brain microvasculature. In the second part of this review, we provide some discussion of mechanisms by which the inflammatory response may be terminated. Particular emphasis on nuclear factor Nf kappaB and how IL10, IL13 and secreted leukocyte protease inhibitor (SLPI) may impact upon the Nf kappaB-dependent inflammatory response is presented.