Effect of copper on immune function and disease resistance

Adv Exp Med Biol. 1989;258:243-52. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4613-0537-8_22.


Recent evidence suggests that copper exacts an important role in the maintenance of immunocompetence. Copper deficiency results in decreased humoral and cell-mediated, as well as nonspecific immune function. Impairment of immune function may be highly correlated with an increased incidence of infection and higher mortality rates observed in copper-deficient animals. The actual mechanisms by which copper is involved in immune processes are not well defined. This review addresses the copper-immune function interaction and discusses possible immunomodulatory roles for copper.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibody Formation
  • Copper / deficiency*
  • Humans
  • Immunity*
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Immunoglobulins / immunology


  • Immunoglobulins
  • Copper