The inflammatory response is a highly regulated physiological process that is critically important for homeostasis. A precise physiological control of inflammation allows a timely reaction to invading pathogens or to other insults without causing overreaction liable to damage the host. The cellular signaling pathways identified as important regulators of inflammation are the signal transduction cascades mediated by the nuclear factor-kappaB and the activator protein-1, which can both be modulated by glucocorticoids. Their use in the clinic includes treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, allograft rejection, and allergic skin diseases. Although glucocorticoids have been widely used since the late 1940s, the molecular mechanisms responsible for their antiinflammatory activity are still under investigation. The various molecular pathways proposed so far are discussed in more detail.