Retinoic acid-inducible gene-I (RIG-I) mediates part of the cell signaling in response to viral infection. Polyinosinic-polycytidilic acid (poly IC) is a synthetic double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) and mimics viral infection when applied to cell cultures. The CC chemokine, RANTES (regulated on activation, normal T-cell expressed and secreted), is a potent attractant for inflammatory cells such as memory T-lymphocytes, monocytes and eosinophils. In the present study, we demonstrated that poly IC enhances the expression of RIG-I in U373MG human astrocytoma cells. The RNA interference of RIG-I resulted in the suppression of the poly IC-induced RANTES expression. Pretreatment of the cells with SB203580, an inhibitor of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase, and dexamethasone inhibited the poly IC-induced expression of RIG-I. Furthermore, poly IC upregulated RIG-I in normal human astrocytes in culture and the in vivo injection of poly IC into the striatum of the mouse brain induced the expression of RIG-I in astrocytes. We conclude that RIG-I may be involved in immune reactions against viral infection, at least in part, through the regulation of RANTES expression in astrocytes.