Mice immunized with peritoneal exudate cells (PEC; used as antigen-presenting cells [APC]) that are pulsed ex vivo with cryptococcal capsular polysaccharide, a glucuronoxylomannan (GXM), exhibit increased survival times and delayed-type hypersensitivity reactions when they are infected with Cryptococcus neoformans. These responses are GXM specific. The present study revealed that GXM-APC immunization enhanced development of anticryptococcal type-1 cytokine responses (interleukin-2 [IL-2] and gamma interferon) in mice infected with C. neoformans. The enhancement was not GXM specific, because immunization with GXM-APC and immunization with APC alone had similar effects. GXM-APC (or APC) immunization caused small increases in the expression of type-2 cytokines (IL-4 and IL-5), but the increases were not always statistically significant. IL-10 levels were not regulated by immunization with GXM-APC or APC. GXM-APC prepared with PEC harvested from mice injected with complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) enhanced type-1 cytokine responses, while GXM-APC prepared with PEC induced with incomplete Freund's adjuvant were ineffective. The CFA-induced PEC had an activated phenotype characterized by increased numbers of F4/80+ cells that expressed CD40, B7-1, and B7-2 on their membranes. The immunomodulatory activity of the CFA-induced APC population was not attributed to their production of IL-12 because GXM-APC prepared with peritoneal cells harvested from IL-12 knockout mice or their wild-type counterparts were equally effective in augmenting the type-1 response. Blocking of IL-12 in the recipients of GXM-APC early after APC infusion revealed that early induction of IL-12 secretion was not responsible for the immunomodulatory response elicited by GXM-APC. These data, considered together with previously reported data, reveal that the protective activity of GXM-APC immunization involves both antigen-specific and nonspecific activities of GXM-APC
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