The role of Vγ9Vδ2 T cells in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is unexplored, although these cells have a natural inclination to react against B-cell malignancies. Proliferation induced by zoledronic acid was used as a surrogate of γδ TCR-dependent stimulation to functionally interrogate Vγ9Vδ2 T cells in 106 untreated CLL patients. This assay permitted the identification of responder and low-responder (LR) patients. The LR status was associated with greater baseline counts of Vγ9Vδ2 T cells and to the expansion of the effector memory and terminally differentiated effector memory subsets. The tumor immunoglobulin heavy chain variable region was more frequently unmutated in CLL cells of LR patients, and the mevalonate pathway, which generates Vγ9Vδ2 TCR ligands, was more active in unmutated CLL cells. In addition, greater numbers of circulating regulatory T cells were detected in LR patients. In multivariate analysis, the LR condition was an independent predictor of shorter time-tofirst treatment. Accordingly, the time-tofirst treatment was significantly shorter in patients with greater baseline numbers of total Vγ9Vδ2 T cells and effector memory and terminally differentiated effector memory subpopulations. These results unveil a clinically relevant in vivo relationship between the mevalonate pathway activity of CLL cells and dysfunctional Vγ9Vδ2 T cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology