Attenuation of contraction-induced skeletal muscle injury by bromelain

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1992 Jan;24(1):20-5.


The proteolytic enzyme, bromelain, reportedly has therapeutic effects in the treatment of inflammation and soft tissue injuries. We tested the hypothesis that bromelain attenuates skeletal muscle injury induced by lengthening contractions. The left extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscle of anesthetized hamsters was injured using a motorized foot pedal which repeatedly flexed/extended the foot through a range of 125 degrees. The EDL muscle was electrically stimulated for 400 ms during plantarflexion. Animals were assigned randomly to either a 0-d group (evaluated 3-h post-injury) or to untreated (UT) or bromelain-treated (T) groups, evaluated 3, 7, or 14 d post-injury. Following injury, T received 5 b.w. of bromelain, twice daily. Maximum isometric tetanic force (Po) was measured in vitro, then muscles were fixed, sectioned, and examined for evidence of fiber damage. The Po of injured muscles from T were higher than Po of injured muscles from UT at 3 (18.7 +/- 0.4 vs 16.5 +/- and 14 d (20.5 +/- 0.6 vs 18.2 +/- 0.6 (P less than 0.05), but not 7 d (19.5 +/-0.7 vs 17.7 +/- 0.8 The Po of UT injured muscles were significantly lower than Po of contralateral control muscles at all time periods. Po of injured muscles from T were lower than Po from control muscles at 3 and 7 d (P less than 0.05), but not 14 d. The number of intact fibers of 3-d UT injured muscles was lower than the number of intact fibers in control muscles (P less than 0.05).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bromelains / pharmacology*
  • Cricetinae
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Female
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Isometric Contraction / drug effects*
  • Mesocricetus
  • Muscles / pathology
  • Muscles / physiopathology*
  • Myositis / pathology
  • Myositis / physiopathology
  • Physical Exertion
  • Random Allocation


  • Bromelains