Inflammation is a double-edged sword. While short-lived, acute inflammation is essential for the repair and resolution of infection and damage, uncontrolled and unresolved chronic inflammation is central to several diseases, including cancer, autoimmune diseases, allergy, metabolic disease, and cardiovascular disease. This report aims to review the literature regarding several members of the nucleotide-binding domain, leucine-rich repeat-containing receptor (NLR) family of pattern recognition sensors/receptors that serve as checkpoints for inflammation. Understanding the negative regulation of inflammation is highly relevant to the development of therapeutics for inflammatory as well as infectious diseases. © 2015 Faculty of 1000 Ltd.