Effects on fibrinogen, fibrin, and blood coagulation of proteolytic extracts from fruits of Pseudananas macrodontes, Bromelia balansae, and B. hieronymi (Bromeliaceae) in comparison with bromelain.
Extracts rich in cysteine proteases obtained from fruits of Pseudananas macrodontes (Pm), Bromelia balansae (Bb), and B. hieronymi (Bh) have previously shown an anti-inflammatory effect on animal models. Given the close relationship between hemostasis and inflammation, it is attractive to investigate therapeutic agents capable of modulating both systems. The aim of this work was to study the effect of Pm, Bb, and Bh on fibrin(ogen) and blood coagulation compared with stem bromelain (Bro). Action on fibrinogen was electrophoretically and spectrophotometrically evaluated, fibrinolytic activity was measured both electrophoretically and by the fibrin plate assay, and the effect on blood coagulation was studied by conventional coagulation tests (PT and APPT). All extracts showed the same proteolytic preference for fibrinogen subunits, that is Aα > Bβ, whereas γ was partially hydrolyzed by 100-fold concentration increase. Unlike Bro, cysteine proteases of Pm, Bb, and Bh increased absorbance at 540 nm of fibrinogen solution, suggesting thrombin-like activity, which was time-dependent and reached maximum values at lower concentration. All extracts showed the same proteolytic preference for fibrin subunits; however Pm, Bb, and Bh showed lower fibrinolytic activity than Bro at the assayed concentrations. Although Bb acted only as anticoagulant, Pm, Bh, and unexpectedly Bro showed dual action on blood coagulation: at low concentration showed procoagulant effect and at high concentration anticoagulant effect. Results reveal new plant species as potential sources of pharmacological agents for the treatment of a wide range of hemostatic disorders as well as to wound healing.