Previous studies had indicated an active role of bovine forestomachs in the response to alimentary disorders as well as to inflammatory and infectious processes in both the gastro-intestinal (GI) tract and elsewhere. We investigated the potential of bovine forestomachs to receive, elaborate and produce signals and mediators of the innate immune response. Indeed, we detected the expression of Toll IL-1R8/single Ig IL-1-related receptor (TIR8/SIGIRR) and other receptors and cytokines, such as Toll-like receptor (TLR)4, interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-10 and Caspase-1 in the forestomach walls of healthy cows. Their presence suggests an active role of forestomachs in inflammatory disorders of the GI tract and other body compartments. Moreover, interferon (IFN)-γ was revealed in ruminal content. We confirmed and further characterized the presence of leukocytes in the rumen fluids. In particular, T-, B-lymphocytes and myeloid lineage cells were detected in the ruminal content of both rumen-fistulated heifers and diseased cows. An acidogenic diet based on daily supplements of maize was shown to inhibit leukocyte accumulation, as opposed to a control, hay-based diet, with or without a soy flour (protein) supplement. On the whole, results indicate that bovine forestomachs can receive and elaborate signals for the immune cells infiltrating the rumen content or other organs. Forestomachs can thus participate in a cross-talk with the lymphoid tissues in the oral cavity and promote regulatory actions at both regional and systemic levels; these might include the control of dry matter intake as a function of fundamental metabolic requirements of ruminants.