In vivo anti-polysaccharide Ig responses to isolated polysaccharide (PS) are T cell independent, rapid, and fail to generate memory. However, little is known regarding PS-specific Ig responses to intact gram-positive and gram-negative extracellular bacteria. We previously demonstrated that intact heat-killed Streptococcus pneumoniae, a gram-positive bacterium, elicited a rapid primary pneumococcal capsular PS (PPS) response in mice that was dependent on CD4(+) T cells, B7-dependent costimulation, and CD40-CD40L interactions. However, this response was ICOS independent and failed to generate a boosted PPS-specific secondary IgG response. In the current study, we analyzed the murine meningococcal type C PS (MCPS)-specific Ig response to i.p.-injected intact, heat-killed Neisseria meningitidis, serogroup C (MenC), a gram-negative bacterium. In contrast to S. pneumoniae, the IgG anti-MCPS response to MenC exhibited delayed primary kinetics and was highly boosted after secondary immunization, whereas the IgG anti-MCPS response to isolated MCPS was rapid, without secondary boosting, and consisted of only IgG1 and IgG3, as opposed to all four IgG isotypes in response to intact MenC. The secondary, but not primary, IgG anti-MCPS response to MenC was dependent on CD4(+) T cells, CD40L, CD28, and ICOS. The primary and secondary IgG anti-MCPS responses were lower in TLR4-defective (C3H/HeJ) but not TLR2(-/-) or MyD88(-/-) mice, but secondary boosting was still observed. Of interest, coimmunization of S. pneumoniae and MenC resulted in a boosted secondary IgG anti-PPS response to S. pneumoniae. Our data demonstrate that the nature of the in vivo anti-PS response is markedly influenced by the composition and/or architecture of the bacterial subcapsular domain.