Bromelain: biochemistry, pharmacology and medical use

Authors
Citation
Hr. Maurer, Bromelain: biochemistry, pharmacology and medical use, CELL MOL L, 58(9), 2001, pp. 1234-1245
Citations number
88
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Review
Categorie Soggetti
Cell & Developmental Biology
Journal title
CELLULAR AND MOLECULAR LIFE SCIENCES
ISSN journal
1420-682X → ACNP
Volume
58
Issue
9
Year of publication
2001
Pages
1234 - 1245
Database
ISI
SICI code
1420-682X(200108)58:9<1234:BBPAMU>2.0.ZU;2-Q
Abstract
Bromelain is a crude extract from the pineapple that contains, among other components, various closely related proteinases, demonstrating, in vitro an d in vivo, antiedematous, antiinflammatory, antithrombotic and fibrinolytic activities. The active factors involved are biochemically characterized on ly in part. Due to its efficacy after oral administration, its safety and l ack of undesired side effects, bromelain has earned growing acceptance and compliance among patients as a phytotherapeutical drug. A wide range of the rapeutic benefits has been claimed for bromelain, such as reversible inhibi tion of platelet aggregation, angina pectoris, bronchitis, sinusitis, surgi cal traumas, thrombophlebitis, pyelonephritis and enhanced absorption of dr ugs, particularly of antibiotics. Biochemical experiments indicate that the se pharmacological properties depend on the proteolytic activity only partl y, suggesting the presence of nonprotein factors in bromelain. Recent resul ts from preclinical and pharmacological studies recommend bromelain as an o rally given drug for complementary tumor therapy: bromelain acts as an immu nomodulator by raising the impaired immunocytotoxicity of monocytes against tumor cells from patients and by inducing the production of distinct cytok ines such as tumor necrosis factor-a, interleukin (Il)-1 beta, Il-6, and Il -8. In a recent clinical study with mammary tumor patients, these findings could be partially confirmed. Especially promising are reports on animal ex periments claiming an antimetastatic efficacy and inhibition of metastasis- associated platelet aggregation as well as inhibition of growth and invasiv eness of tumor cells. Apparently, the anti-invasive activity does not depen d on the proteolytic activity. This is also true for bromelain effects on t he modulation of immune functions, its potential to eliminate burn debris a nd to accelerate wound healing. Whether bromelain will gain wide acceptance as a drug that inhibits platelet aggregation, is antimetastatic and facili tates skin debridement, among other indications, will be determined by furt her clinical trials. The claim that bromelain cannot be effective after ora l administration is definitely refuted at this time.