Subgroup J avian leukosis virus (ALV-J) causes a neoplastic disease in infected chickens. The ALV-J strain NX0101, which was isolated from broiler breeders in 2001, mainly induced formation of myeloid cell tumors. However, strain HN10PY01, which was recently isolated from laying hens, mainly induces formation of myeloid cell tumors and hemangioma. To identify the molecular pathological mechanism underlying changes in host susceptibility and tumor classification induced by these two types of ALV-J strains, chicken embryo fibroblasts derived from chickens with different genetic backgrounds (broiler breeders and laying hens) and an immortalized chicken embryo fibroblasts (DF-1) were prepared and infected with strain NX0101 or HN10PY01, respectively. The 50% tissue culture infective dose (TCID50) and levels of ALV group-specific antigen p27 and heat shock protein 70 in the supernatant collected from the ALV-J infected cells were detected. Moreover, mRNA expression levels of tumor-related genes p53, c-myc, and Bcl-2 in ALV-J-infected cells were quantified. The results indicated that the infection of ALV-J could significantly increase mRNA expression levels of p53, c-myc, and Bcl-2. Strain HN10PY01 exhibited a greater influence on the three tumor-related genes in each of the three types of cells when compared with strain NX0101, and the TCID50 and p27 levels in the supernatant collected from HN10PY01-infected cells were higher than those collected from NX0101-infected cells. These results indicate that the infection of the two ALV-J strains influenced the gene expression levels in the infected cells, while the newly isolated strain HN10PY01 showed higher replication ability in cells and induced higher expression levels of tumor-related genes in infected cells. Furthermore, virus titers and expression levels of tumor-related genes and cellular stress responses of cells with different genetic backgrounds when infected with each of the two ALV-J strain were different, indicating that genetic backgrounds influenced the capabilities of the virus to infect and proliferate. The findings of this study provide useful data to further elucidate the mechanism underlying host susceptibility and tumor classification in ALV-J-infected chickens and cells.