Mammalian p38 mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) are activated by a wide range of cellular stresses as well as in response to inflammatory cytokines. There are four members of the p38MAPK family (p38alpha, p38beta, p38gamma and p38delta) which are about 60% identical in their amino acid sequence but differ in their expression patterns, substrate specificities and sensitivities to chemical inhibitors such as SB203580. A large body of evidences indicates that p38MAPK activity is critical for normal immune and inflammatory response. The p38MAPK pathway is a key regulator of pro-inflammatory cytokines biosynthesis at the transcriptional and translational levels, which makes different components of this pathway potential targets for the treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. However, recent studies have shed light on the broad effect of p38MAPK activation in the control of many other aspects of the physiology of the cell, such as control of cell cycle or cytoskeleton remodelling. Here we focus on these emergent roles of p38MAPKs and their implication in different pathologies.