Reactive oxygen species (ROS) and mitochondria play an important role in apoptosis induction under both physiologic and pathologic conditions. Interestingly, mitochondria are both source and target of ROS. Cytochrome c release from mitochondria, that triggers caspase activation, appears to be largely mediated by direct or indirect ROS action. On the other hand, ROS have also anti-apoptotic effects. This review focuses on the role of ROS in the regulation of apoptosis, especially in inflammatory cells.