Bromelain activates murine macrophages and natural killer cells in vitro


Engwerda CR, Andrew D, Murphy M, Mynott TL




Cell Immunol


The innate immune response is critical for effective immunity against most pathogens. In this study, we show that bromelain, a mixture of cysteine proteases, can enhance IFN-gamma-mediated nitric oxide and TNFalpha production by macrophages. Bromelain's effect was independent of endotoxin receptor activation and was not caused by direct modulation of IFN-gamma receptors. Instead, bromelain either enhanced or acted synergistically with IFN-gamma receptor-mediated signals. These effects were seen in both RAW 264.7, a macrophage cell line, and primary macrophage populations. Bromelain also increased IL-2- and IL-12-mediated IFN-gamma production by NK cells. These results indicate a potential role for bromelain in the activation of inflammatory responses in situations where they may be deficient, such as may occur in immunocompromised individuals.