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The interindividual variability of IgA, IgG, and IgM immunoglobulin levels was studied using path analysis in a northeastern Brazilian sample (nuclear families) to determine the genetic and/or environmental causes of their variation. The path analysis model decomposes the phenotype into genetic causes (autosomal and X-chromosomelinked genes) and environmental causes. A significant familial aggregation, mainly resulting from autosomal components, was detected for the 3 immunoglobulin levels. The values of genetic heritability were h2 = 0.410 ± 0.030 for IgA, h2 = 0.617 ± 0.020 for IgG, and h2 = 0.540 ± 0.023 for IgM, and the values for environmental-cultural heritability were c2 = 0.085 ± 0.034 for IgA, c2 = 0.084 ± 0.027 for IgG, and c2 = 0.023 + 0.023 for IgM. Our results did not show a heritable component resulting from X-chromosome-linked genes on IgM levels, as suggested by some studies (Wood et al. 1969; Grundbacher 1972; Purtilo and Sullivan 1979). Some additional results were that (1) age and IgA concentration were positively correlated, with IgA level increasing gradually from childhood to adulthood (p < 0.001); (2) sex and the age X sex interaction act on IgG concentration (p < 0.01); (3) age and IgM concentration are correlated (with children presenting lower levels than adults, especially in males, p < 0.01); and (4) a significant association exists between sex and IgM level (with females presenting higher levels than males,/? < 0.001).