Renoprotective effects of crocin against colistin-induced nephrotoxicity in a rat model

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


Objective(s): Colistin is used to treat multidrug-resistant gram-negative bacterial infections. It increases the membrane permeability of kidney cells, leading to kidney toxicity. Crocin, a carotenoid found in saffron, has anti-oxidant and nephroprotective properties. The present study aimed to explore the potential renoprotective effects of crocin against colistin-induced nephrotoxicity.
Materials and Methods: Six groups of male Wistar rats were utilized: 1- Control (0.5 ml of normal saline, 10 days, IP); 2- Crocin (40 mg/kg, 10 days, IP); 3-Colistin (23 mg/kg, 7 days, IP); 4-6 Colistin (23 mg/kg, 7 days, IP)+ crocin (10, 20, 40 mg/kg, 10 days, IP). On day 11, rats were sacrificed and their blood and kidney samples were collected to measure creatinine, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), glutathione (GSH) levels, malondialdehyde (MDA), and histopathological alterations.
Results: Colistin caused a significant increase in BUN, creatinine, and MDA, and a decrease in GSH compared to the control group. It also led to congested blood vessels, glomerular shrinkage, and medullary tubular degeneration. Co-administration of crocin with colistin resulted in a significant decrease in BUN and creatinine, increased GSH levels, and ameliorated the histopathological alterations compared to the colistin group. No significant difference was found between the control group and the crocin (40 mg/kg) group.
Conclusion: It might be suggested that colistin can induce kidney damage by inducing oxidative stress. However, crocin shows protective effects against colistin-induced renal injury by acting as an anti-oxidant. Hence, crocin can be used as a supplement to reduce tissue and biochemical damage caused by colistin injection.


Main Subjects

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