Neuroprotective effects of crocin on the histopathological alterations following brain ischemia-reperfusion injury in rat

Document Type: Original Article


1 Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Faculty of Medicine, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Objective(s): Some histopathological alterations take place in the ischemic regions following brain ischemia. Recent studies have demonstrated some neuroprotective roles of crocin in different models of experimental cerebral ischemia. Here, we investigated the probable neuroprotective effects of crocin on the brain infarction and histopathological changes after transient model of focal cerebral ischemia.
Materials and Methods: Experiment was performed in four groups of rats (each group; n=8), sham, control ischemia and ischemia treated rats. Transient focal cerebral ischemia was induced by 80 min middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) followed by 24 hr reperfusion. Crocin, at doses 50 and 80 mg/kg, was injected at the beginning of ischemia (IP injection). Neurologic outcome (Neurological Deficit Score, NDS scale), infarct volume (TTC staining) and histological studies were assessed 24 hr after termination of MCAO.
Results: Treatment with crocin, at doses 50 and 80 mg/kg, significantly reduced the cortical infarct volume by 48% and 60%, and also decreased striatal infarct volume by 45% and75%, respectively. Crocin at two different doses significantly improved the NDS of ischemic rats. At histological evaluation, crocin, at dose 80 mg/kg more than 50 mg/kg, decreased the number of eosinophilic (prenecrotic) neurons and reduced the fiber demyelination and axonal damage in ischemic regions.
Conclusion:Our findings indicated that crocin effectively reduces brain ischemia-induced injury and improves neurological outcomes. Crocin also is a potent neuroprotective factor that can be able to prevent histopathological alterations following brain ischemia.


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