Effects of Crocus sativus and its constituent, safranal, and pioglitazone, on systemic inflammation and oxidative stress induced by PQ aerosol in rats

Document Type : Original Article


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

2 Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

3 Saffron InstituteUniversity of Torbat Heydarieh, Torbat Heydarieh, Iran

4 Physiology‐Pharmacology Research Center, Research Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Rafsanjan University of Medical Sciences, Rafsanjan, Iran

5 Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Rafsanjan University of Medical Sciences, Rafsanjan, Iran


Objective(s): The effects of Crocus sativus, safranal, and pioglitazone on aerosolized paraquat (PQ)-induced systemic changes were examined.  
Materials and Methods: Control (Ctrl) and PQ groups of rats were exposed to saline or PQ (27 and 54 mg/m3, PQ-L and PQ-H) aerosols eight times on alternate days. Nine PQ-H groups were treated with dexamethasone (0.03 mg/kg/day, Dexa), two doses of C. sativus extract (20 and 80 mg/kg/day, CS-L and CS-H), safranal (0.8 and 3.2 mg/kg/day, Saf-L and Saf-H), pioglitazone (5 and 10 mg/kg/day, Pio-L and Pio-H), and the combination of low dose of the pioglitazone and extract or safranal (Pio + CS and Pio + Saf) after the end of PQ exposure. 
Results: Interferon-gamma (INF-γ), interleukin 10 (IL-10), superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and thiol serum levels were reduced, but tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α), malondialdehyde (MDA), and total and differential WBC were increased in both PQ groups (P<0.05 to P<0.001). All measured variables were improved in all treated groups (P<0.05 to P<0.001). The effects of high dose of C. sativus and safranal on measured parameters were higher than dexamethasone (P<0.05 to P<0.001). The effects of  Pio + CS and Pio + Saf treatment on most variables were significantly higher than three agents alone (P<0.05 to P<0.001).
Conclusion: C. sativus and safranal improved inhaled PQ-induced systemic inflammation and oxidative stress similar to those of dexamethasone and showed synergic effects with pioglitazone suggesting the possible PPARγ receptor-mediated effects of the plant and its constituent.


Main Subjects

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