Effect of trans-sodium crocetinate on contrast-induced cytotoxicity in HEK-293 cells

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Pharmacodynamics and Toxicology, School of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 Pharmaceutical Research Center, Pharmaceutical Technology Institute, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

3 Targeted Drug Delivery Research Center, Pharmaceutical Technology Institute, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

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

5 Neurogenic Inflammation Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


Objective(s): Contrast media (CM) are used for diagnostic or therapeutic intervention purposes in medicine. The main adverse reaction after the administration of CM is contrast-induced nephropathy (CIN). This complication is the third cause of renal failure after hospital treatment. The current study is designed to investigate the possible protective effect of trans-sodium crocetinate (TSC), derived from carotenoid crocetin, against sodium amidotrizoate/meglumine amidotrizoate (SAMA) induced cytotoxicity in HEK-293 cells.
Materials and Methods: HEK-293 cells were incubated with different concentrations of TSC (1, 2.5, 5, 10, 25, and 50 µM, for 48 hr) and then SAMA (7 mgI/ml, for 24 hr) was added. The cell viability, intracellular ROS, and phosphatidyl serine exposure were detected by MTT assay, DCFH-DA, and annexin V-FITC/PI method, respectively. The P-ERK/ERK ratio, apoptosis (Bax/Bcl-2 ratio and cleaved caspase-3), and autophagy (LC3 II/I ratio and beclin-1) markers in cells were evaluated by the western blot method.
Results: The exposure of HEK-293 cells to SAMA reduced viability, increased apoptotic cells, enhanced ROS production, and subsequently decreased P-ERK/ERK ratio. Similarly, SAMA enhanced apoptosis (Bax/Bcl-2 ratio and cleaved caspase-3) and autophagy (LC3 II/I ratio and beclin-1) markers in HEK-293 cells. The pretreatment of cells with TSC before exposure to SAMA significantly attenuated contrast-induced cytotoxicity. TSC reduced intracellular ROS production and activated the phosphorylation of ERK. In addition, TSC decreased the levels of apoptosis and autophagy proteins. 
Conclusion: The pretreatment of HEK-293 cells with TSC can decrease contrast-induced cytotoxicity through antioxidant effect and modulate  ERK, apoptosis, and autophagy pathways.


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