We previously showed that the intrahepatic induction of cytokines such as alpha/beta interferon (IFN-alpha/beta) and gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) inhibits hepatitis B virus (HBV) replication noncytopathically in the livers of transgenic mice. The intracellular pathway(s) responsible for this effect is still poorly understood. To identify interferon (IFN)-inducible intracellular genes that could play a role in our system, we crossed HBV transgenic mice with mice deficient in IFN regulatory factor 1 (IRF-1), the double-stranded RNA-activated protein kinase (PKR), or RNase L (RNase L) (IRF-1(-/-), PKR(-/-), or RNase L(-/-) mice, respectively), three well-characterized IFN-inducible genes that mediate antiviral activity. We showed that unmanipulated IRF-1(-/-) or PKR(-/-) transgenic mice replicate HBV in the liver at slightly higher levels than the respective controls, suggesting that both IRF-1 and PKR individually appear to mediate signals that modulate HBV replication under basal conditions. These same animals were responsive to the antiviral effects of the IFN-alpha/beta inducer poly(I-C) or recombinant murine IFN-gamma, suggesting that under these conditions, either the IRF-1 or the PKR genes can mediate the antiviral activity of the IFNs or other IFN-inducible genes mediate the antiviral effects. Finally, RNase L(-/-) transgenic mice were undistinguishable from controls under basal conditions and after poly(I-C) or IFN-gamma administration, suggesting that RNase L does not modulate HBV replication in this model.