The effect of exposure to hypoxia on macrophage activity, lymphocyte function and oxidative stress was investigated. Hypoxia enhanced peritoneal macrophage activity as revealed by enhanced phagocytosis and free radical production. There was no significant change in antibody titres to sheep red blood cells in either serum or spleen during hypoxia. However, there was a considerable reduction in the delayed-type hypersensitivity response to sheep red blood cells, indicating the impairment of T-cell activity. Hypoxia decreased the blood glutathione (reduced) level and increased plasma malondialdehyde by a factor of about 2. It is therefore speculated that hypoxia imposes an oxidative stress leading to decreased T-cell acivity.