Mechanisms of the antitumor activity of human Vγ9Vδ2 T cells in combination with zoledronic acid in a preclinical model of neuroblastoma

Emma Di Carlo, Paola Bocca, Laura Emionite, Michele Cilli, Giuseppe Cipollone, Fabio Morandi, Lizzia Raffaghello, Vito Pistoia, Ignazia Prigione

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Low expression of surface major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules and defects in antigen processing machinery make human neuroblastoma (NB) cells appropriate targets for MHC unrestricted immunotherapeutic approaches. Human T-cell receptor (TCR) Vγ9Vδ2 lymphocytes exert MHC-unrestricted antitumor activity and are activated by phosphoantigens, whose expression in cancer cells is increased by aminobisphosphonates. With this background, we have investigated the in vivo anti-NB activity of human Vγ9Vδ2 lymphocytes and zoledronic acid (ZOL). SH-SY-5Y human NB cells were injected in the adrenal gland of immunodeficient mice. After 3 days, mice received ZOL or human Vγ9Vδ2 T cells or both agents by intravenous administration once a week for 4 weeks. A significantly improved overall survival was observed in mice receiving Vγ9Vδ2 T cells in combination with ZOL. Inhibition of tumor cell proliferation, angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis, and increased tumor cell apoptosis were detected. Vγ9Vδ2 T lymphocytes were attracted to NB-tumor masses of mice receiving ZOL where they actively modified tumor microenvironment by producing interferon-γ (IFN-γ), that in turn induced CXCL10 expression in NB cells. This study shows that human Vγ9Vδ2 T cells and ZOL in combination inhibit NB growth in vivo and may provide the rationale for a phase I clinical trial in patients with high-risk NB.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1034-1043
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Therapy
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2013


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Genetics
  • Drug Discovery
  • Pharmacology

Cite this