Inhibitory effects of bromelain, a cysteine protease derived from pineapple stem (Ananas comosus), on intestinal motility in mice
Article first published online: 21 JUN 2011
© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Neurogastroenterology & Motility
Volume 23, Issue 8, pages 745–e331, August 2011
How to Cite
Borrelli, F., Capasso, R., Severino, B., Fiorino, F., Aviello, G., De Rosa, G., Mazzella, M., Romano, B., Capasso, F., Fasolino, I. and Izzo, A. A. (2011), Inhibitory effects of bromelain, a cysteine protease derived from pineapple stem (Ananas comosus), on intestinal motility in mice. Neurogastroenterology & Motility, 23: 745–e331. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2982.2011.01735.x
- Issue published online: 15 JUL 2011
- Article first published online: 21 JUN 2011
- Received: 14 August 2010 Accepted for publication: 25 April 2011
- cysteine protease;
- intestinal inflammation;
- intestinal motility;
- protease-activated receptors
Background Bromelain (BR) is a cysteine protease with inhibitory effects on intestinal secretion and inflammation. However, its effects on intestinal motility are largely unexplored. Thus, we investigated the effect of this plant-derived compound on intestinal contractility and transit in mice.
Methods Contractility in vitro was evaluated by stimulating the mouse isolated ileum, in an organ bath, with acetylcholine, barium chloride, or electrical field stimulation. Motility in vivo was measured by evaluating the distribution of an orally administered fluorescent marker along the small intestine. Transit was also evaluated in pathophysiologic states induced by the pro-inflammatory compound croton oil or by the diabetogenic agent streptozotocin.
Key Results Bromelain inhibited the contractions induced by different spasmogenic compounds in the mouse ileum with similar potency. The antispasmodic effect was reduced or counteracted by the proteolytic enzyme inhibitor, gabexate (15 × 10−6 mol L−1), protease-activated receptor-2 (PAR-2) antagonist, N1-3-methylbutyryl-N4-6-aminohexanoyl-piperazine (10−4mol L−1), phospholipase C (PLC) inhibitor, neomycin (3 × 10−3 mol L−1), and phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) inhibitor, rolipram (10−6 mol L−1). In vivo, BR preferentially inhibited motility in pathophysiologic states in a PAR-2-antagonist-sensitive manner.
Conclusions & Inferences Our data suggest that BR inhibits intestinal motility – preferentially in pathophysiologic conditions – with a mechanism possibly involving membrane PAR-2 and PLC and PDE4 as intracellular signals. Bromelain could be a lead compound for the development of new drugs, able to normalize the intestinal motility in inflammation and diabetes.