Immunostimulatory properties of mushroom derived polysaccharides (PS) as stand-alone agents were tested. Next. PS were nanocomplexed with polyI:C (pIC) to yield stable nanoparticles around 200 nm in size evidenced by atomic force microscopy and dynamic light scattering analyses. PSs were selectively engaged by cells expressing TLR2 and initiated NF kappa B dependent signaling cascade leading to a Th1-biased cytokine/chemokine secretion in addition to bactericidal nitric oxide (NO) production from macrophages. Moreover, cells treated with nanoparticles led to synergistic IL6, production and upregulation of TNF alpha, MIP3 alpha, IFN gamma and IP10 transcript expression. In mice, PS-Ovalbumin-pIC formulation surpassed anti-OVA IgG responses when compared to either PS-OVA or pIC-OVA mediated immunity. Our results revealed that signal transduction initiated both by TLR2 and TLR3 via co-delivery of pIC by PS in nanoparticle depot delivery system is an effective immunization strategy. The present work implicate that the PS and nucleic acid based nanoparticle approach along with protein antigens can be harnessed to prevent infectious diseases. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.