Current therapies for chronic inflammatory diseases typically act through the nonspecific downregulation of immune cell activation. However, it is becoming increasingly evident that parenchymal cells are also active participants in the inflammatory process. Future prospects for the treatment of inflammation should therefore include the targeting of specific inflammatory pathways in both immune cells and parenchymal cells. CD44, a cell-adhesion molecule that is ubiquitously expressed on leukocytes and parenchymal cells, has been implicated, together with its ligand hyaluronan (HA), in several inflammatory diseases. The mechanisms of action of CD44-HA interactions in inflammation might provide potential targets for therapy.