The concept of anti-inflammation is currently evolving with the definition of several endogenous inhibitory circuits that are important in the control of the host inflammatory response. Here we focus on one of these pathways, the annexin 1 (ANXA1) system. Originally identified as a 37 kDa glucocorticoid-inducible protein, ANXA1 has emerged over the last decade as an important endogenous modulator of inflammation. We review the pharmacological effects of ANXA1 on cell types involved in inflammation, from blood-borne leukocytes to resident cells. This review reveals that there is scope for more research, since most of the studies have so far focused on the effects of the protein and its peptido-mimetics on neutrophil recruitment and activation. However, many other cells central to inflammation, e.g. endothelial cells or mast cells, also express ANXA1: it is foreseen that a better definition of the role(s) of the endogenous protein in these cells will open the way to further pharmacological studies. We propose that a more systematic analysis of ANXA1 physio-pharmacology in cells involved in the host inflammatory reaction could aid in the design of novel anti-inflammatory therapeutics based on this endogenous mediator.