Bromelain prevents secretion caused by Vibrio cholerae and Escherichia coli enterotoxins in rabbit ileum.


Mynott TL






BACKGROUND & AIMS: Diarrhea is a major cause of illness and death in children and young animals. The aim of this study was to investigate the possible therapeutic effect of bromelain, a proteolytic extract obtained from pineapple stems on bacterial toxin and second-messenger agonist-induced intestinal secretion. METHODS: The effect of bromelain pretreatment on short-circuit responses to Escherichia coli heat-labile enterotoxin, heat-stable enterotoxin, and Vibrio cholerae cholera toxin was evaluated in rabbit ileum mounted in Ussing chambers. RESULTS: Bromelain was 62% effective in preventing heat-labile enterotoxin-induced secretion, 51% effective against cholera toxin, and 35% effective against heat-stable enterotoxin [corrected]. Bromelain also prevented secretory changes caused by prostaglandin E2, theophylline, calcium-ionophore A23187, 8-bromoadenosine 3':5'-cyclic monophosphate, and 8-bromoguanosine 3':5'-cyclic monophosphate, well-known intracellular mediators of ion secretion. The efficacy of bromelain was not caused by reduced tissue viability resulting from its proteolytic effects on enterocytes, indicated by experiments measuring uptakes of nutrients into intestinal cells and experiments measuring short-circuit responses to glucose. CONCLUSIONS: Bromelain prevents intestinal fluid secretion mediated by secretagogues that act via adenosine 3':5'-cyclic monophosphate, guanosine 3':5'-cyclic monophosphate, and calcium-dependent signaling cascades. It may be clinically useful as an antidiarrheal drug.