Immunologic and Biochemical Effects of the Fermented Wheat Germ Extract Avemar
Avemar (MSC) is a nontoxic fermented wheat germ extract demonstrated to have antitumor effects. Avemar has the potential to significantly improve the survival rate in patients suffering from malignant colon tumors. We studied its effects in the HT-29 human colon carcinoma cell line. Avemar had an inhibiting effect on colonies of HT-29 cells with an IC50 value of 118 μg/ml (7 days of incubation); this value could be decreased to 100 and 75 μg/ml in the presence of vitamin C. In the cell line examined, Avemar induced both necrosis and apoptosis, as demonstrated by Hoechst/propidium iodide staining. The incubation of cells with 3200 μg/ml Avemar for 24 hrs caused necrosis in 28% and the induction of apoptosis in 22% of the cells. Avemar inhibited the cell-cycle progression of HT-29 cells in the G1 phase of the cell cycle. In addition, Avemar inhibited the activity of the key enzyme of de novo DNA synthesis, ribonucleotide reductase. In addition, we determined the effects of Avemar on the activity of cyclooxygenase-1 and -2. Both enzymes were significantly inhibited by Avemar with IC50 values of 100 and 300 μg/ml, respectively. We outline new explanations for its antitumor activity, which might serve as the basis for further studies using Avemar.