This study investigated whether gender or smoking has an impact on immune responses to in generally healthy adults. A total of 129 twins (46 twin pairs and 37 single twins) from the Finnish Twin Cohort who had previously reported the highest discordance for smoking with their co-twins participated. -specific serum IgA and IgG antibody levels were measured by the micro-immunofluorescence test (micro-IF) at admission and 3 months later if the IgA level in the first sample was elevated. Cell-mediated immune (CMI) responses to and control antigens from heparinised blood samples were assessed by the lymphoproliferation (LP) assay. When all the subjects were pooled and analysed by gender and smoking status, marked differences in the humoral immune response between the genders were observed, irrespective of smoking status. When twin pairs solely were analysed, significantly elevated IgA antibody levels suggestive of persistent infection were found among the currently or formerly smoking men compared to their non-smoking co-twins. The CMI response showed a reciprocal trend with respect to humoral immunity. In conclusion, specific antibody levels were found to be higher in men than in women irrespective of smoking status, although smoking may further enhance the humoral response and depress the CMI response in men.


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