Ginkgolide B (GB) has been demonstrated to have a variety of pharmacological actions. Accumulating evidence indicates that GB may exert a protective effect on brain injury. The study was designed to investigate the influence of GB on toll-like receptor 4 (TLR-4) and nuclear factor κB (NF-κB)-dependent inflammatory responses and neuronal cell apoptosis after traumatic brain injury (TBI). Wistar rats were subjected to 5, 10 and 20 mg/kg GB daily for 5 days, intraperitoneally, following TBI. Rats were sacrificed at hour 2, 6 and 12, as well as day 1, 2, 3 and 5 after TBI. The administration of 10 and 20 mg/kg GB could significantly (least-significant difference test: p < 0.05) suppress gene expressions of TLR-4 and NF-κB, lessen concentrations of tumour necrosis factor α, interleukin-1β and interleukin-6, as well as reduce the number of apoptotic neuronal cells in traumatic rat brain tissues, but the administration of 5 mg/kg GB did not (p > 0.05). However, a clear concentration–response relationship was not found. Thus, GB may inhibit TLR-4 and NF-κB-dependent inflammatory responses, and furthermore lessen neuronal cell apoptosis after TBI, which may support the use of GB for the treatment of TBI. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.