In the initiation of innate immune responses against pathogens, pattern-recognition receptors (PRRs) have an essential role in recognizing specific components of microorganisms and triggering responses that eliminate the invading microorganisms. However, inappropriate activation of PRRs can lead to prolonged inflammation and even to autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Thus, PRR-triggered responses are regulated through the degradation or translocation of the innate receptors themselves and through the involvement of intracellular regulators or amplifiers. In addition, a complex interplay between PRRs and/or other immune pathways finely tunes the outcome of host immune defence responses. In this Review, I describe many of the numerous distinct mechanisms for the self-regulation and cross-regulation of innate immune receptor signalling.