Respiration and blood pressure are primarily controlled by somatic and autonomic motor neurones, respectively. Central cardiorespiratory control is critical in moment-to-moment survival, but it also has a role in the development and maintenance of chronic pathological conditions such as hypertension. The glial cells of the brain are non-neuronal cells with metabolic, immune, and developmental functions. Recent evidence shows that glia play an active role in supporting and regulating the neuronal circuitry which drives the cardiorespiratory system. Here we will review the activities of two key types of glial cell, microglia and astrocytes, in assisting normal central cardiorespiratory control and in pathology.