Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy

, Volume 62, Issue 3, pp 571–583

Extensive expansion of primary human gamma delta T cells generates cytotoxic effector memory cells that can be labeled with Feraheme for cellular MRI

  • Gabrielle M. Siegers
  • Emeline J. Ribot
  • Armand Keating
  • Paula J. Foster
Original article

DOI: 10.1007/s00262-012-1353-y

Cite this article as:
Siegers, G.M., Ribot, E.J., Keating, A. et al. Cancer Immunol Immunother (2013) 62: 571. doi:10.1007/s00262-012-1353-y


Gamma delta T cells (GDTc) comprise a small subset of cytolytic T cells shown to kill malignant cells in vitro and in vivo. We have developed a novel protocol to expand GDTc from human blood whereby GDTc were initially expanded in the presence of alpha beta T cells (ABTc) that were then depleted prior to use. We achieved clinically relevant expansions of up to 18,485-fold total GDTc, with 18,849-fold expansion of the Vδ1 GDTc subset over 21 days. ABTc depletion yielded 88.1 ± 4.2 % GDTc purity, and GDTc continued to expand after separation. Immunophenotyping revealed that expanded GDTc were mostly CD27-CD45RA- and CD27-CD45RA+ effector memory cells. GDTc cytotoxicity against PC-3M prostate cancer, U87 glioblastoma and EM-2 leukemia cells was confirmed. Both expanded Vδ1 and Vδ2 GDTc were cytotoxic to PC-3M in a T cell antigen receptor- and CD18-dependent manner. We are the first to label GDTc with ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxide (USPIO) nanoparticles for cellular MRI. Using protamine sulfate and magnetofection, we achieved up to 40 % labeling with clinically approved Feraheme (Ferumoxytol), as determined by enumeration of Perls’ Prussian blue-stained cytospins. Electron microscopy at 2,800× magnification verified the presence of internalized clusters of iron oxide; however, high iron uptake correlated negatively with cell viability. We found improved USPIO uptake later in culture. MRI of GDTc in agarose phantoms was performed at 3 Tesla. The signal-to-noise ratios for unlabeled and labeled cells were 56 and 21, respectively. Thus, Feraheme-labeled GDTc could be readily detected in vitro via MRI.


Gamma delta T cell expansion Gamma delta T cell cytotoxicity Iron labeling Preclinical cellular immunotherapy 

Supplementary material

262_2012_1353_MOESM1_ESM.tif (185 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (TIFF 185 kb)
262_2012_1353_MOESM2_ESM.tif (145 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (TIFF 145 kb)
262_2012_1353_MOESM3_ESM.tif (83 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (TIFF 83.3 kb)
262_2012_1353_MOESM4_ESM.tif (437 kb)
Supplementary material 4 (TIFF 436 kb)
262_2012_1353_MOESM5_ESM.tif (174 kb)
Supplementary material 5 (TIFF 173 kb)
262_2012_1353_MOESM6_ESM.doc (32 kb)
Supplementary material 6 (DOC 32.5 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gabrielle M. Siegers
    • 1
  • Emeline J. Ribot
    • 1
  • Armand Keating
    • 2
  • Paula J. Foster
    • 1
  1. 1.Imaging Research Laboratories, Robarts Research InstituteWestern UniversityLondonCanada
  2. 2.Cell Therapy Program, Princess Margaret HospitalUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

Personalised recommendations