Send to

Choose Destination
Blood. 2011 Sep 8;118(10):2743-51. doi: 10.1182/blood-2011-01-328526. Epub 2011 Jun 14.

DC-like cell-dependent activation of human natural killer cells by the bisphosphonate zoledronic acid is regulated by γδ T lymphocytes.

Author information

Cell Therapy Unit, Department of Urology, Innsbruck Medical University and K1 Center Oncotyrol, Innsbruck, Austria.


Bisphosphonates are mainly used for the inhibition of osteoclast-mediated bone resorption but also have been shown to induce γδ T-cell activation. Using IL-2-primed cultures of CD56(+) peripheral blood mononuclear cells, we show here that zoledronic acid (zoledronate) could induce IFN-γ production not only in γδ T lymphocytes but, surprisingly, also in natural killer (NK) cells in a manner that depended on antigen-presenting cells, which share properties of inflammatory monocytes and dendritic cells (DCs; here referred to as DC-like cells). In the presence of γδ T lymphocytes, DC-like cells were rapidly eliminated, and NK cell IFN-γ production was silenced. Conversely, in the absence of γδ T lymphocytes, DC-like cells were spared, allowing NK cell IFN-γ production to proceed. γδ T cell-independent NK cell activation in response to zoledronate was because of downstream depletion of endogenous prenyl pyrophosphates and subsequent caspase-1 activation in DC-like cells, which then provide mature IL-18 and IL-1β for the activation of IL-2-primed NK cells. Pharmacologic inhibition of caspase-1 almost abolished IFN-γ production in NK cells and γδ T lymphocytes, indicating that caspase-1-mediated cytokine maturation is the crucial mechanism underlying innate lymphocyte activation in response to zoledronate.

Comment in

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center