Effects of crocin on T-bet/GATA-3 ratio, and miR-146a and miR-106a expression levels in lung tissue of ovalbumin-sensitized mice

Document Type : Original Article


1 Lung Diseases Research Center, Ardabil University of Medical Sciences, Ardabil, Iran

2 Applied Biomedical Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

3 Student Research Committee, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

4 Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

5 Drug Applied Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

6 Stem Cell Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

7 Solid Tumor Research Center, Research Institute for Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Urmia University of Medical Sciences, Urmia, Iran


Objective(s): Although various studies have revealed the beneficial effects of crocin (derived from saffron), such as anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, antioxidant, and immune modulator, however, its exact mechanism is unknown. The present study aimed to investigate the effect of crocin on the expression ratio of T-bet/GATA-3 as an indicator of altered immune responses in the lung tissue of ovalbumin (OVA)-sensitized mice. In addition, the effect of crocin on the expression level of miR-146a and miR-106a in the lung tissue OVA-sensitized mice was investigated.
Materials and Methods: Mice were randomly divided into five groups (n=6): Control; OVA, OVA + Crocin 25, OVA + Cro 50, and OVA + Cro100 groups. Crocin was administrated intraperitoneally at doses of 25, 50, and 100 mg/kg for five consecutive days. One day after asthma induction, animals were euthanized, and lungs were sampled for pathological and gene expression analysis.
Results: OVA-sensitization led to increased inflammation and histopathological changes in the lung tissue of mice. In addition, GATA-3 expression increased (P<0.001) and T-bet expression decreased (P<0.001) in OVA-sensitized groups. The T-bet/GATA3 ratio was also reduced markedly in asthma groups (P<0.001). Furthermore, increased expression of miR-146a and miR-106a levels was evident in the lung tissue of OVA-sensitized mice (P<0.001 for both). Intervention with high concentrations of crocin (50 and 100 mg/kg) significantly reduced airway inflammation, GATA-3 expression, miR-146a expression, and miR-106a expression and corrected the T-bet/GATA-3 ratio (P<0.05 to P<0.001).
Conclusion: Treatment with crocin led to a decrease in the severity of lung inflammation in OVA-sensitized mice, which is probably through the reduction of the T-bet/GATA-3 ratio, and mir-146a and mir-106a expression level.


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