Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) induces apoptosis in T cells by a caspase-dependent mechanism. Apoptosis can occur via extrinsic (death receptor) and/or intrinsic (mitochondrial) pathways. Here, we show that the initiator caspase for the intrinsic pathway is activated in T cells following HSV-2 exposure. To determine the respective contributions of intrinsic and extrinsic pathways, we assessed apoptosis in Jurkat cells that are deficient in caspase 8 or Fas-associating protein with death domain (FADD) for the extrinsic pathway and in cells deficient in caspase 9 for the intrinsic pathway. Our results indicate HSV-2-induced apoptosis in T cells occurs via the intrinsic pathway.