Zoledronic acid enhances Vδ2 T-lymphocyte antitumor response to human glioma cell lines

E. Cimini, P. Piacentini, A. Sacchi, C. Gioia, S. Leone, G. M. Lauro, F. Martini, Chiara Agrati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most frequent and aggressive primary brain tumor in humans, responds modestly to treatment: most patients survive less than one year after diagnosis, despite both classical and innovative treatment approaches. A recent paper focused on γδ T-cell response in GBM patients, suggesting the application of an immunomodulating strategy based on γδ T-cells which is already in clinical trials for other tumors. Human Vδ2 T-cells recognize changes in the mevalonate metabolic pathway of transformed cells by activating cytotoxic response, and by cytokine and chemokine release. Interestingly, this activation may also be induced in vivo by drugs, such as zoledronic acid, that induce the accumulation of Vδ2 T-cell ligand Isopentenyl-pyrophosphate by blocking the farnesyl pyrophosphate synthase enzyme. The aim of our work is to confirm whether bisphosphonate treatment would make glioma cell lines more susceptible to lysis by in vitro expanded γδ T-cells, improving their antitumor activity. We expanded in vitro human Vδ2 T-cells by phosphoantigen stimulation and tested their activity against glioma cell lines. Co-culture with glioma cells induced Vδ2 T-cell differentiation in effector/memory cells, killing glioma cells by the release of perforin. Interestingly, glioma cells were directly affected by zoledronic acid; moreover, treatment increased their activating ability on Vδ2 T-cells, inducing an effective antitumor cytotoxic response. Taken together, our results show that aminobisphosphonate drugs may play a dual role against GBM, by directly affecting tumor cells, and by enhancing the antitumor response of Vδ2 T-cells. Our results confirm the practicability of this approach as a new immunotherapeutic strategy for GBM treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-148
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011


  • γδ T-cells
  • Glioblastoma
  • Innate immunotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy


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