Disseminated cryptococcosis is accompanied by cryptococcal polysaccharides in the serum and the lack of cellular infiltrates in infected tissues. Cryptococcal polysaccharides given intravenously to mice inhibit the influx of T lymphocytes into the sites of cell-mediated immune response. The focus here was to determine whether cryptococcal polysaccharides modulate the expression of molecules, such as L-selectin, that are important in extravasation of T cells. Cryptococcal glucuronoxylomannan (GXM), but not galactoxylomannan or mannoprotein, was found to cause loss of L-selectin from freshly isolated human T cells of both CD4 and CD8 subsets and from Jurkat cells. With the signaling-pathway inhibitors staurosporine (which inhibits protein kinase C) and herbimycin A (which inhibits protein tyrosine kinases), we showed that GXM or the cryptococcal culture filtrate antigen CneF directly induces L-selectin loss from CD4+ and CD8+ T cells via a herbimycin A-sensitive pathway(s) presumably involving one or more protein tyrosine kinases but not via a pathway involving protein kinase C. Loss of L-selectin from the T cells before the T cells have a chance to bind to L-selectin ligands on endothelial cells would be expected to prevent T-cell migration into inflamed tissues and/or lymph organs.