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Immunol Invest. 2008;37(4):263-77. doi: 10.1080/08820130802083622.

Bromelain inhibits lipopolysaccharide-induced cytokine production in human THP-1 monocytes via the removal of CD14.

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  • 1Institutes of Biomedical Science, National Chung-Hsing University, Taichung, Taiwan.


Bromelain has been reported to have anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects. However, the anti-inflammatory mechanism of bromelain is unclear. Therefore, we investigated the effect of bromelain on cytokine production from lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and monocytic leukemia THP-1 cells. The result showed that bromelain (50-100 microg/ml) significantly and reversibly reduced tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha interleukin- (IL)-1beta and IL-6 from LPS-induced PBMC and THP-1 cells. This effect was correlated with reduced LPS-induced TNF-alpha mRNA and NF-kappaB activity in THP-1 cells. In addition, bromelain dose-dependently inhibited LPS-induced prostaglandin E(2), thromboxane B(2) and COX-2 mRNA but not COX-1 mRNA. Importantly, bromelain degraded TNF-alpha and IL-1beta molecules, reduced the expression of surface marker CD14 but not Toll-like receptor 4 from THP-1 cells. Taken together, the results suggest that the suppression of signaling pathways by bromelain's proteolytic activity may contribute to the anti-inflammatory activity of bromelain.

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