Maladaptive immune responses are considered to be important factors in the pathogenesis of the two diseases caused by hantaviruses, hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome and hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome (HCPS). While the intensity of adaptive antiviral T-cell responses seems to correlate with the severity of HCPS, there is increasing evidence that innate antiviral responses by endothelial cells, the native targets for hantavirus infection in vivo, are induced within hours of exposure to infectious hantaviruses. To investigate early events in the innate response to Sin Nombre virus (SNV), the principal etiologic agent of HCPS in North America, we treated human endothelial cells with live virus, or virus subjected to inactivation by UV irradiation at minimal doses required to inhibit replication, and assayed host expression of interferon-stimulated genes (ISG) by microarray and reverse transcription-PCR. We show herein that a variety of ISG are induced between 4 and 24 h after exposure to both live and killed virus. The levels of such induction at early time points (before 24 h) were generally higher in cells treated with SNV particles that had been killed by exposure to UV irradiation. Additionally, SNV exposed to increasing doses of UV irradiation induced ISG better than live virus despite increased disruption of viral RNA integrity. However, SNV replication was required for continued ISG overexpression by 3 days posttreatment. These results suggest that hantavirus particles may themselves be capable of early induction of ISG and that ongoing production of viral particles during infection could contribute to the pathogenic process.