An adjuvant role for certain short bacterial immunostimulatory DNA sequences (ISSs) has recently been proposed on the basis of their ability to stimulate T helper-1 (Th1) responses in gene-vaccinated animals. We report here that noncoding, ISS-enriched plasmid DNAs or ISS oligonucleotides (ISS-ODNs) potently stimulate immune responses to coadministered antigens. The ISS-DNAs suppress IgE synthesis, but promote IgG and interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) production. They furthermore initiate the production of IFN-gamma, IFN-alpha, IFN-beta, and interleukins 12 and 18, all of which foster Th1 responses and enhance cell-mediated immunity. Consideration should be given to adding noncoding DNA adjuvants to inactivated or subunit viral vaccines that, by themselves, provide only partial protection from infection.