Crosstalk signaling between the closely juxtaposed epithelial and endothelial membranes of pulmonary alveoli establishes the lung’s immune defense against inhaled and blood-borne pathogens. The crosstalk can occur in a forward direction, as from alveolus to capillary, or in a reverse direction, as from capillary to alveolus. The crosstalk direction likely depends on the site at which pathogens first initiate signaling. Thus, forward crosstalk may occur when inhaled pathogens encounter the alveolar epithelium, while reverse crosstalk may result from interactions of blood-borne pathogens with the endothelium. Here, we review the factors that regulate these two directions of signaling.