Antiviral activity of human Vδ2 T-cells against WNV includes both cytolytic and non-cytolytic mechanisms

Chiara Agrati, Concetta Castilletti, Eleonora Cimini, Antonella Romanelli, Daniele Lapa, Serena Quartu, Federico Martini, Maria Rosaria Capobianchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


West Nile virus (WNV) causes a severe central nervous system infection in humans, primarily in the elderly and immunocompromised subjects. Human γδT-cells play a critical role in the immune response against viruses, and studies of WNV meningoencephalitis in laboratory mice described a role of γδT-cells in the protective immune response. Aim of this study was to analyze the cytolytic and non-cytolytic antiviral activity of human Vδ2 T-cells against WNV replication. The anti-WNV activity of soluble factor released by zoledronic acid (ZA)-activated Vδ2 T-cell lines and the cytotoxic capability of Vδ2 T-cell lines against WNV-infected cells were tested in vitro. The activation of Vδ2 T-cell lines was able to inhibit WNV replication through the release of soluble factors. IFN-γ is massively released by activated Vδ2 T-cell lines and is involved in the anti-WNV activity. Moreover, the Vδ2 T-cell lines can efficiently kill WNV-infected cells possibly through perforin-mediated mechanism. Altogether, our results provide insight into the effector functions of human Vδ2 T-cells against WNV. The possibility to target these cells by ZA, a commercially available drug used in humans, could potentially offer a new immunotherapeutic strategy for WNV infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-142
Number of pages4
JournalNew Microbiologica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2016


  • Cytotoxicity
  • IFN-γ
  • Innate immunity
  • γδ T-cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)


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