Previous studies have shown that complex mixtures containing particulate matter (PM) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) produce systemic immunotoxicity in animal models following inhalation exposures. While we and others have shown that emissions associated with hardwood smoke (HWS), cigarette smoke and diesel exhaust can suppress the immune systems of animals in vitro and in vivo, there have been few immune function studies on human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (HPBMC) following exposure of humans to HWS. Our work shows that T cells are an important targets of PM and PAH immunotoxicity. These studies were conducted on HPBMC from 14 human volunteers receiving four 2 h nightly exposures to clean air or HWS at a concentration of 500 ug/m3. We measured anti-CD3/anti-CD28 stimulated T-cell proliferation and HPBMC cytokine production in cell supernatants, including interleukin 1β (IL-1β), tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α), interleukin 6 (IL-6), interleukin 8 (IL-8), TH1 cytokines γIFN and IL-2, TH2 cytokine IL-4, Th17 cytokine interleukin 17A (IL-17A) and interleukin 10 (IL-10). We analyzed results using analysis of variance (ANOVA), t-tests and Pearson correlation. Results showed that there was significant variation in the amount of T-cell proliferation observed following polyclonal activation with anti-CD3/anti-CD28 antibodies in both the air and HWS-exposed groups. There was not a significant effect of HWS on T-cell proliferation. However, we did find a strong relationship between the presence of proinflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, TNF-α, IL-6, but not IL-8) and the amount of T-cell proliferation seen in individual donors, demonstrating that brief exposures of humans to HWS can produce changes in systemic immunity that is associated with proinflammatory cytokines.