Exposure to benzene and its inevitable metabolites can result in deleterious effects on human health, including lymphocytopenia, hematotoxicity and cancer. However, the duration of exposure might alter the effects including immune consequences. The aim of this study was to determine whether benzene could modulate lymphocyte proliferation induced by the T cell mitogen concanavalin A, in rats, at different exposure durations. 386 Wistar rats were assigned into control and treatment groups which were subdivided into groups for 45, 90 and 135 days for 0,6 mL/kg of drinking water mixed benzene treatment. The percentage of CD3+, CD4+, CD8+ spleen lymphocytes was defined using the flow cytometer. Interleukin (IL)-4, IL-6, IL-10 and interferon gamma, in supernatants of splenocyte cultures stimulated with Concanavalin A, were assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) technique. The decrease in the total lymphocyte and T cell counts were associated with increased benzene exposure duration. Th2-type cytokine, IL-4 significantly increased, whereas IL-6, CD4+ T cells, CD4+/CD8+ ratio and CD3+ T cells decreased. Despite the positive correlation between benzene toxicity and indicated increased immune responses, 45-day exposure to benzene appeared to be the most sensitive time point for evaluating benzene cytotoxicity.