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TDK conference 2019

Study on the effect of fermented wheat germ extract on intestinal epithelial cells exposed to fusariotoxins
Prokoly Dorottya - year 5
University of Veterinary Medicine Budapest, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Supervisors: Erzsébet Pásztiné Dr. Gere, Judit Mercédesz Pomothy


The toxic effect of mouldy feed on health status of food producing animals is one of the main problems of the modern livestock farming. Deoxynivalenol (DON) and T-2 toxins produced by Fusarium species have great importance in food chain. These mycotoxins have the potential to cause significant economic damage by reducing the animal's feed intake, inhibiting the process of protein synthesis and cell division, thus impairing the production of meat and other animal products. In addition, they increase the release of reactive free radicals and by their immunosuppressive effect they reduce the barrier function of intestinal epithelial cells against harmful substances.

In our research, we raised the question if polyphenol-rich fermented wheat germ extract can exert beneficial effects on intestinal epithelial cells. In the experiment using IPEC-J2 non- tumorigenic epithelial cell line we investigated the impact of the extract on cell viability and cell integrity, on the alteration of cellular H2O2 production in the intracellular and extracellular spaces.

Cell viability was determined by the MTS method. The changes in the cell barrier integrity was measured via transepithelial electrical resistance (TER). The concentration of free radicals produced by the cells in the intracellular space was determined by the DCFH-DA method and in the extracellular space by the Amplex Red Kit.

The results show that the viability of cells treated with T-2 toxin and 1% and 2% fermented wheat germ solution did not change significantly, but the effect of DON could not be counteracted by the fermented wheat germ. TER measurements also showed significantly higher resistance values for cells treated with T-2 toxin and 2% fermented wheat germ extract compared to those in control group. However, fermented wheat germ could not eliminate the cellular damage of DON. The results show that the 1% fermented wheat germ extract only in T-2 treated cells, while 2% extract could significantly reduce the intracellular H2O2 levels of cells exposed to either DON or T-2. According to Amplex Red findings, only 2% wheat germ proved to be effective against T-2 and DON toxins caused damage. H2O2 release into the extracellular space was significantly reduced in the cells treated with DON or T-2.

Based on our experimental results, it can be concluded that the fermented wheat germ extract alone has a cytoprotective effect. In the case of mycotoxin-treated cells, 2% fermented wheat germ extract proved to be the most cell protective, considering the fact that it was able to significantly increase cell viability and integrity in case of T-2 toxin caused changes. At the same time, it was able to reduce the excessive amount of intracellular and extracellular free radicals by application of DON or T-2. Fermented wheat germ extract reinforces the resistance of intestinal epithelial cells exposed to oxidative stress, thus increasing the body's immunity and livestock production rate in the long run.

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