Research has shown that nano-copper (nano-Cu) can cause damage to the spleen and immune system yet their mechanisms of cytotoxicity are poorly understood. Our aim is to explore the potential immunotoxicity in the spleen of rats after nano-Cu exposure. The results of hematologic parameters, lymphocyte subsets, immunoglobulins, and histopathology indicated that copper obviously changed the immune function of the spleen. The levels of antioxidants (SOD, CAT, GSH-Px), oxidants (iNOS, NO, MDA), and anti-oxidative signalling pathway of Nrf2 (Nrf2 and HO-1) were strongly induced by nano-Cu. The expression of mRNA and protein of pro-/anti-inflammatory (IFN-γ, TNF-α, MIP-1α, MCP-1, MIF, IL-1/-2/-4/-6) cytokines were increased by nano-Cu. The expression of regulatory signal pathways, MAPKs and PI3-K/Akt were activated, which might be involved in the inflammatory responses and immunomodulatory processes of sub-acute nano-Cu exposure. The immune function of the spleen was repressed by nano-Cu induced oxidative stress and inflammation.