Background: Macrophages and dendritic cells (DCs) play key roles in host defense against HSV-1 infection. Although macrophages and DCs can be infected by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV1), both cell types are resistant to HSV-1 replication. The aim of our study was to determine factor (s) that are involved in the resistance of DCs and macrophages to productive HSV-1 infection. Results: We report here that, in contrast to bone marrow-derived DCs and macrophages from wild type mice, DCs and macrophages isolated from signal transducers and activators of transcription-1 deficient (STAT1(-/-)) mice were susceptible to HSV-1 replication and the production of viral mRNAs and DNA. There were differences in expression of immediate early, early, and late gene transcripts between STAT1(+/+) and STAT1(-/)-infected APCs. Conclusion: These results suggest for the first time that the JAK-STAT1 pathway is involved in blocking replication of HSV-1 in DCs and macrophages.