Apoptosis seems to play an important role in the pathogenic profile of bovine herpesvirus 1 (BHV-1) infection. Nitric oxide (NO) is also important as a signal Molecule. In this study, apoptosis was selectively induced in HEp-2 cells in the early stage [1-3 h postinfection (PI)] of BHV-1 multiplication, and this apoptotic process was realised through the caspase-8, and partially through the caspase-3, pathway. BHV-1 infection inhibited staurosporine- (SS-) induced apoptosis only if the SS was added at 6 h PI. The results of this Study showed that the 'NO-apoptosis' relation was realised through the caspase-8 pathway ('outer membrane receptor' pathway) at a later stage of infection in apoptosis induced by BHV-1 + SS. Our previous report (Yazici et al., 2004) and this Study together showed that BHV-1 might induce and inhibit cell-type-specific pathways of apoptosis.