IL-12 is a key cytokine in directing the development of type 1 Th cells, which are critical to eradicate intracellular pathogens such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Here, we report that mannose-capped lipoarabinomannans (ManLAMs) from Mycobacterium bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin and Mycobacterium tuberculosis inhibited, in a dose-dependent manner, the LPS-induced IL-12 production by human dendritic cells. The inhibitory activity was abolished by the loss of the mannose caps or the GPI acyl residues. Mannan, which is a ligand for the mannose receptor (MR) as well as an mAb specific for the MR, also inhibited the LPS-induced IL-12 production by dendritic cells. Our results indicate that ManLAMs may act as virulence factors that contribute to the persistence of M. bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin and M. tuberculosis within phagocytic cells by suppressing IL-12 responses. Our data also suggest that engagement of the MR by ManLAMs delivers a negative signal that interferes with the LPS-induced positive signals delivered by the Toll-like receptors.