The interaction of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) with the immune system has not yet been sufficiently elucidated even though they belong to the most investigated and exploited group of nanomaterials. This study aimed to evaluate immunomodulatory effect of four different AgNPs on human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (hPBMCs). Fresh hPBMCs were exposed to the small sized (~ 10 nm) AgNPs immediately after isolation from the whole blood of healthy volunteers. The study considered coating-, time- and dose-dependent response of hPBMSc and stimulation of both early and intermediate activation of lymphocytes and monocytes using flow cytometry. The AgNPs differed in surface charge and were stabilised with polyvinyl pyrrolidone (PVP), poly-L-lysine (PLL), bis(2-ethylhexyl) sulfosuccinate sodium (AOT) or blood serum albumin (BSA). Response of hPBMCs to coating agents and ionic Ag form was evaluated to distinguish their effect from the AgNPs action as they may be released from the nanosurface. There was no significant effect of any tested AgNPs on relative count of hPBMCs subpopulations. The T-cells and monocytes were not activated after treatment with AgNPs, but the highest concentration of PLL- and BSA-AgNPs decreased density of CD4 and CD8 markers on T-helper and T-cytotoxic cells, respectively. The same AgNPs activated B- and NK-cells. Ionic Ag activated T-, B- and NK-cells, but at very higher concentration, whereas only PLL exhibited immunomodulatory activity. This study evidenced immunomodulatory activity of AgNPs that may be fine-tuned by the design of their surface functionalization.