We previously reported that intramuscular (i.m.) immunization of DNA vaccine encoding human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)IIIB env and rev genes alone or in combination with appropriate adjuvant induces substantial and enhanced immune response against HIV-1. In the present study, we examined whether a polymer, low-viscosity carboxymethylcellulose sodium salt (CMCS-L), has an adjuvant effect on immune response induced by DNA vaccination. BALB/c mice were immunized with HIV-DNA vaccine formulated with CMCS-L via the intranasal (i.n.) and i.m. routes. The combination with the polymer elicited higher levels of antigen-specific serum IgG and fecal IgA antibodies than DNA vaccine alone. For cell-mediated immunity, HIV-specific delayed-type hypersensitivity response and cytotoxic T lymphocyte activity were measured by the footpad-swelling test and the 51Cr-release assay, respectively. Both were enhanced by the combination with CMCS-L via i.n. and i.m. inoculation. Cytokine analysis in culture media of bulk splenocytes harvested from immunized animals showed higher levels of IL-4 production in i.n. -immunized mice compared with i.m.-immunized mice. Nevertheless, the increased IFN-gamma production resulting from the combination with CMCS-L was observed only in i.n.-immunized mice. These data indicate that i.n. immunization of HIV-DNA vaccine formulated with CMCS-L enhances HIV-specific mucosal antibody (Ab) and systemic Ab and cell-mediated immune response.