Recombinant baculoviral vectors efficiently transduce several types of cells in the brain. To characterize host responses to virus challenge, thus verifying the suitability of using baculovirus for the development of gene therapy strategies in the central nervous system, we used cDNA microarray technology to examine in vitro and in vivo global cellular gene expression profiles in the rat brain, cultured human astrocytes and human neuronal cells after viral transduction. We demonstrated that the transduction induced host antiviral responses as a major reaction in all three types of samples profiled. The related genes were mainly those associated with innate immunity, including several of the genes involved in Toll-like receptor signaling pathway and cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction. These findings should be useful in understanding the molecular basis for neural cell response to baculoviral transduction and in guiding rational therapeutic applications of baculoviral vectors in the central nervous systems.