The type 3 complement receptor (CR3), initially identified as the leukocyte cell surface receptor for iC3b, is now known to form part of the extended integrin family of cell adhesion molecules that mediate both cell-cell and cell-extracellular matrix interactions. The identification of a heritable deficiency of human leukocyte adhesion together with the advent of monoclonal antibodies has shed some light on the central role of CR3 in the transendothelial migration of macrophages and neutrophils to sites of inflammation. We review the general structural features of CR3 and then examine our understanding of its role in both nonspecific and T cell-dependent inflammatory processes based on our murine in vivo experiments. CR3-dependent inflammation seems to contribute to the pulmonary response to some stimuli (lipopolysaccharide) but not to others (bacillus Calmette-Guerin). These studies highlight the potential therapeutic benefits, as well as the significant risks of potentiating acute bacterial infections, of CR3 blockade in vivo.