Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Clin Exp Immunol. 2006 Jan;143(1):85-92.

Dose-dependent induction of IL-6 by plant-derived proteases in vitro.

Author information

  • 1German Diabetes Clinic, German Diabetes Centre, Leibniz Centre at the Heinrich-Heine-University, Duesseldorf, Germany.


Oral administration of proteases such as bromelain and papain is commonly used in patients with a wide range of inflammatory conditions, but their molecular and cellular mechanisms of action are still poorly understood. The aim of our study was to investigate the impact of these proteases on the release of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and other cytokines in the recently described modified mixed lymphocyte culture (MMLC) test system which is based on the mutual interaction of cells of the innate and adaptive immunity. Bromelain and papain enhanced IL-6 production dose-dependently up to 400-fold in MMLC before and up to 30-fold after neutralization of LPS content of proteases using polymyxin B, indicating that IL-6 induction by protease treatment was attributable to both protease action and LPS content of enzyme preparations. The production of IFNgamma and IL-10 was not altered by bromelain or papain, indicating a selective and differential immune activation. Both proteases impaired cytokine stability, cell proliferation and expression of cell surface molecules like CD14 only marginally, suggesting no impact of these mechanisms on protease-mediated cytokine release. These findings might provide the mechanistic rationale for the current use of proteases in wound healing and tissue regeneration since these processes depend on IL-6 induction.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk