Human Vgamma9Vdelta2 T cells: promising new leads for immunotherapy of infections and tumors

Curr Opin Immunol. 2006 Oct;18(5):539-46. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2006.07.002. Epub 2006 Jul 25.


Vgamma9Vdelta2 T cells, a major human peripheral gammadelta T-cell subset, react in vitro against a wide array of microbial agents and tumor cells. This broad reactivity pattern is conferred by non-peptidic phosphorylated isoprenoid pathway metabolites, referred to as phosphoantigens, which are able to specifically activate this gammadelta T-cell subset in a T-cell receptor dependent fashion. Recent studies provide new insights into the mode of action of phosphoantigens on Vgamma9Vdelta2 T cells and might explain how their recognition can allow detection of infected or altered self by the immune system. The broad antimicrobial and antitumoral reactivity of Vgamma9Vdelta2 T cells, their ability to produce inflammatory cytokines involved in protective immunity against intracellular pathogens and tumors, and their strong cytolytic and bactericidal activities suggest a direct involvement in immune control of cancers and infections. These observations have recently aided development of novel immunotherapeutic approaches aimed at Vgamma9Vdelta2 T-cell activation, which have already yielded encouraging results.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy* / trends
  • Infections / therapy*
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology*


  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta