Although corticosteroids are recommended as adjunctive therapy for tuberculous meningitis, the mechanism underlying their beneficial effect is poorly understood. In this study, human microglia and astrocytes were infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv, and cytokine and chemokine expression was examined with and without dexamethasone treatment. Microglia were the principal cells infected by tubercle bacilli, which elicited robust amounts of several cytokines and chemokines. Treatment with dexamethasone markedly suppressed production of these mediators. The results of this study support the concept that micreglia play an important role in neuropathogenesis of tuberculosis and that dexamethasone could operate via modulation of the production of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines by these brain macrophages.