Activation of γδ T cells by bisphosphonates

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2010;658:11-20. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4419-1050-9_2.


After decades of successful clinical use, the exact molecular mechanisms by which the anti-resorptive bisphosphonate drugs (BPs) exert their effects are now being revealed. In addition to their anti-resorptive effects, it is now apparent that nitrogen-containing BPs (N-BPs) have immunomodulatory properties. Specifically, these drugs activate immune cells called gamma, delta T lymphocytes. In this chapter we discuss the mechanism of gamma, delta T cell activation by N-BPs and propose that N-BPs may provide a safe and effective means for manipulating gamma,delta T cell activity in future immunotherapeutic approaches.

MeSH terms

  • Acute-Phase Reaction / immunology
  • Animals
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Diphosphonates / chemistry
  • Diphosphonates / pharmacology*
  • Lymphocyte Activation / drug effects*
  • Mice
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / drug effects*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*


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