Adult bone marrow contains a number of discrete populations of progenitor cells, including endothelial, mesenchymal, and epithelial progenitor cells and fibrocytes. In the context of a range of diseases, endothelial progenitor cells have been reported to promote angiogenesis, mesenchymal stem cells are potent immunosuppressors but can also contribute directly to tissue regeneration, and fibrocytes have been shown to induce tissue fibrosis. This article provides an overview of the basic biology of these different subsets of progenitor cells, reporting their distinct phenotypes and functional activities. The differences in their secretomes are highlighted, and the relative role of cellular differentiation vs paracrine effects of progenitor cells is considered. The article reviews the literature examining the contribution of progenitor cells to the pathogenesis of respiratory disease, and discusses recent studies using bone marrow progenitor cells as stem cell therapies in the context of pulmonary hypertension, COPD, and asthma.