Crocin nano-chitosan-coated compound improves anxiety disorders, learning, and spatial memory in Alzheimer’s model induced by beta-amyloid in rats

Document Type : Original Article


1 Neuroscience Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Applied Virology Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Objective(s): Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease that results in the gradual breakdown of brain tissue, causing the deterioration of intellectual function and ability. Crocin is a saffron carotenoid compound proven to have excellent neuroprotective and anti-inflammation properties, although it has some limitations such as low stability and bioavailability. Therefore, in the current research, we tried to improve these limitations by using nanotechnology and chitosan as the carrier. Our study examined the therapeutic effects of crocin nano-chitosan-coated compound and compared it with intact crocin in lower dosages than other studies in AD rat models. 
Materials and Methods: Encapsulating crocin into chitosan nanoparticles was done through a modified technique to improve its limitations. The AD rat model was induced by bilaterally injecting beta-amyloid (Aβ) peptide into the frontal lobe using a stereotaxic device. To evaluate memory, we conducted the Barnes maze test, and to evaluate anxiety, we used the elevated plus maze test. Also, histological tests were conducted to evaluate neuronal damage in each group. 
Results: Crocin nano-chitosan-coated administration significantly improved specific memory indicators compared to the Aβ and other treated groups. A significant decrease in anxiety indicators was detected compared to the Aβ and other treated groups. Finally, the results of hippocampus staining indicated a meaningful difference between the Aβ group and other treated groups, compared to the crocin nano-chitosan-coated group. 
Conclusion: Treatment with low dosages of crocin in the nano-coated form exhibited great efficacy in reducing AD’s adverse effects compared to the same dosage of intact crocin.


Main Subjects

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