The present study analyzed the effects of maternal stress (PS) and/or naloxone treatment on the activity of peritoneal macrophage in male and female Swiss mice offspring. Pregnant female rats received a daily footshock (0.2 mA) and/or a naloxone injection from gestational day 15 to 19. Experiments were performed on postnatal day 30 on male and female pups. The following results were obtained in male offspring: (1) PS decreased both the index and the percentage of phagocytosis, this decrement being reversed by naloxone treatment, and (2) naloxone alone decreased the percentage of phagocytosis. The following results were obtained in female offspring: (1) PS decreased spontaneous and phorbol myristate acetate-induced macrophage oxidative burst, this decrement being reversed by naloxone pretreatment, and (2) PS decreased both the index and percentage of the phagocytosis, this effect was prevented by naloxone treatment. These data are discussed focussing on a putative neuroimmune interaction involving opioidergic systems during the ontogeny of the central nervous and immune systems.