In this study, the interaction of Rifampicin (RIF) with cellular glutathione (GSH) in Mycobacterium smegmatis has been investigated. Minimum inhibitory concentration of RIF for M. smegmatis was demonstrated to be 17 micrograms ml-1 medium. Three subinhibitory concentrations viz. 5, 10 and 15 micrograms RIF ml-1 medium were used to study its interaction with cellular non protein thiols (NPSH). Maximum depletion (57.8%) in NPSH levels [5, 5'-dithiobis (2-nitrobenzoic acid) assay] was observed on second day when the cells were grown in the presence of 15 micrograms RIF ml-1 medium. When the same samples were assayed for GSH levels (glyoxylase assay) the depletion of GSH levels by RIF was still observed, confirming the earlier findings. GSH depletion paralleled with growth inhibition and reached to normal level on 5th day of growth. Cellular depletion of GSH was also observed when 3 day grown cells of M. smegmatis were exposed to various concentrations of RIF (20, 40 and 60 micrograms ml-1 medium) for different time intervals. Maximum depletion of NPSH levels was observed when 3 day grown cultures were treated with 60 micrograms RIF ml-1 medium for a period of 6 h. The results of this study clearly demonstrate that RIF depletes cellular GSH levels regardless of the fact that the drug is included in the medium before inoculating it or after the cells have been grown for a period of three days. The depletion of cellular GSH levels by RIF in M. smegmatis may contribute towards its antituberculous activity.