Systemic delivery of Ag usually induces poor mucosal immunity. To improve the CD8 T cell response at mucosal sites, we targeted the Ag to MAdCAM-1, a mucosal addressin cell adhesion molecule expressed mainly by high endothelial venules (HEV) in mesenteric lymph nodes (MLN) and Peyer's patches of gut-associated lymphoid tissue. When chemical conjugates of anti-MAdCAM-1 Ab and model Ag OVA were injected i.v., a greatly enhanced proliferative response of Ag-specific OT-I CD8 T cells was detected in MLN. This was preceded by prolonged accumulation, up to 2 wk, of the anti-MAdCAM OVA conjugate on HEV of Peyer's patches and MLN. In contrast, nontargeted OVA conjugate was very inefficient in inducing OT-I CD8 T cell proliferation in MLN and required at least 20-fold more Ag to induce a comparable response. In addition, MAdCAM targeting elicits an endogenous OVA-specific CD8 T cell response, evident by IFN-gamma production and target killing. Induced response offers protection against an OVA-expressing B cell lymphoma. We propose that the augmentation of gut CD8 T cell responses by MAdCAM targeting is due to both accumulation of Ag in the HEV and conversion of a soluble Ag to a cell-associated one, allowing cross-presentation by DCs.