In-vitro anti-cancer and in-vivo immunomodulatory activity of two new compounds isolated from wheatgrass (Triticum aestivum L.)

Save, Swati ; Chander, Harish ; Patil, Mahendra ; Singh, Surjeet ; Satti, Naresh Kumar; Chaturbhuj, Ganesh ; Clement, Brian


Phytotherapeutic agents, or plant-based drugs, are a new class of standardised medicinal agents. In recent years, plant-based therapeutics have been used for the prevention and management of cancer. Practitioners believe that wheatgrass is an effective agent because it contains chlorophyll-like molecules that increase haematopoiesis and strengthen the immune system. This study used wheatgrass juice and powder to substantiate the claim that wheatgrass is an effective anticancer agent. Researchers formulated a new extraction procedure to isolate compounds and subsequently evaluated their bioactivities, particularly their immunomodulatory and anti-cancer activities. This procedure successfully managed to isolate 2 new compounds whose structures were elucidated using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), Liquid Chromatography – Mass Spectroscopy (LCMS), and Fourier Transform Infra Red (FTIR) techniques. Both compounds showed unique characteristics with respect to their melting points, colours, odours and solubilities. These 2 novel compounds, a ketone (WG1) and a polyphenol (YWG), exhibited strong in vivo immunomodulatory lymphocyte proliferation and potent in vitro cytotoxic activities against breast, pancreatic, colon, lung, and prostate cancer cell lines. This research concludes that wheatgrass juice and powder includes constituents with medicinal value that can be used for further research as an anti-cancer agent.


Cytotoxicity assay; Immunomodulator; Lymphocyte proliferation; Structural elucidation; Triticum aestivum; Wheatgrass juice.

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