Salmonella vector vaccine expressing the saliva-binding region (SBR) of the adhesin AgI/II of Streptococcus mutans has been shown to induce a mixed Th1/Th2 anti-SBR immune response in mice and to require Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2), TLR4, and MyD88 signaling for the induction of mucosal anti-SBR antibody responses. Since dendritic cells (DC) are critical in innate and adaptive immunity, the present study assessed the role of SBR expression by the vector vaccine in DC activation. Bone marrow-derived DC from wild-type and TLR2, TLR4, and MyD88 knockout mice were stimulated with Salmonella vector BRD509, the SBR-expressing Salmonella vector vaccine BRD509(pSBRT7), or SBR protein, and the DC responses to different stimuli were compared by assessing costimulatory molecule expression, cytokine production, and signaling pathways. The DC response to both BRD509(pSBRT7) and BRD509 was dependent mainly on TLR4. BRD509(pSBRT7) and BRD509 induced upregulation of CD80, CD86, CD40, and major histocompatibility complex class II (MHC II) expression. Lower levels of interleukin-10 (IL-10) and IL-12p40 were produced by BRD509(pSBRT7)-stimulated DC than by BRD509-stimulated DC. Furthermore, BRD509(pSBRT7)-stimulated DC showed decreased p38 phosphorylation compared to that induced by DC stimulated with BRD509. However, BRD509(pSBRT7)-treated DC produced a higher level of IL-6 than BRD509-stimulated cells. The low IL-12p40 and high IL-6 cytokine profile expressed by BRD509(pSBRT7)-stimulated DC may represent a shift toward a Th2 response, as suggested by the increased expression in Jagged-1. These results provide novel evidence that a heterologous protein expressed by a Salmonella vector vaccine can differentially affect DC activation. © 2011, American Society for Microbiology.