Sialoadhesin (Sn, also known as Siglec-1 and CD169) is a macrophage-restricted cell surface receptor that is conserved across mammals. Sn is a member of the sialic acid-binding IgG-like lectin (Siglec) family of proteins characterized by affinity to specifically sialylated ligands, and under normal conditions is expressed on subsets of macrophages in secondary lymphoid tissues, such as lymph node and spleen. However, Sn-positive macrophages can also be found in a variety of pathological conditions, including (autoimmune) inflammatory infiltrates and tumours. Sn has been shown to contribute to sialylated pathogen uptake, antigen presentation and lymphocyte proliferation, and to influence both immunity and tolerance. This review presents Sn as a macrophage-specific marker of inflammation and immunoregulation with the potential to becoming an important biomarker for immunologically active macrophages and a target for therapy.