Glucocorticoids (GCs) induce apoptosis in lymphoid lineage cells and are therefore used in the therapy of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and related malignancies. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) and the related mirtrons are ~22 nucleotide RNAs derived from polymerase-II transcripts and implicated in the control of essential biological functions, including apoptosis. Whether GCs regulate miRNA-encoding transcription units is unknown. We investigated miRNA/mirtron expression and GC regulation in 8 leukemia/lymphoma in vitro models and 13 ALL children undergoing systemic GC monotherapy using a combination of expression profiling techniques, real time reverse transcription (RT)-PCR and northern blotting to detect mature miRNAs and/or their precursors. We found that mature miRNA regulations can be inferred from expression data of their host genes. Although a simple miRNA-initiated canonical pathway to GC-induced apoptosis or cell cycle arrest did not emerge, we identified several miRNAs/mirtrons that were regulated by GC in patients and cell lines, including the myeloid-specific miR-223 and the apoptosis and cell cycle arrest-inducing miR15 ~ 16 clusters. In an in vitro model, overexpression of miR15b ~ 16 mimics increased and silencing by miR15b ~ 16 inhibitors decreased GC sensitivity. Thus, the observed complex changes in miRNA/mirtron expression during GC treatment might contribute to the anti-leukemic GC effects in a cell context-dependent manner.