Abstract Background The small population of glioma stem-like cells (GSCs) contributes to tumor initiation, malignancy, and recurrence in glioblastoma. However, the maintenance of GSC properties in the tumor microenvironment remains unclear. In glioma, non-neoplastic cells create an inflammatory environment and subsequently mediate tumor progression and maintenance. Transcriptional factor CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein delta (CEBPD) is suggested to regulate various genes responsive to inflammatory cytokines, thus prompting us to investigate its role in regulating GSCs stemness after inflammatory stimulation. Methods Stemness properties were analyzed by using spheroid formation. Oncomine and TCGA bioinformatic databases were used to analyze gene expression. Western blotting, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, luciferase reporter assay, and chromatin immunoprecipitation assay were used to analyze proteins and gene transcript levels. The glioma tissue microarrays were used for CEBPD and PDGFA expression by immunohistochemistry staining. Results We first found that IL-1β promotes glioma spheroid formation and is associated with elevated CEBPD expression. Using microarray analysis, platelet-derived growth factor subunit A (PDGFA) was confirmed as a CEBPD-regulated gene that mediates IL-1β-enhanced GSCs self-renewal. Further analysis of the genomic database and tissue array revealed that the expression levels between CEBPD and PDGFA were coincident in glioma patient samples. Conclusion This is the first report showing the activation of PDGFA expression by CEBPD through IL-1β treatment and a novel CEBPD function in maintaining the self-renewal feature of GSCs.