Crocin mitigates γ-rays-induced hepatic toxicity in rats

  • Sameh Soliman TawfikEmail author
  • Ahmed Amer Elkady
  • Wael Aly El khouly
Research Article


Crocin (C44H64O24) is an isolated bioactive molecule of saffron extract. It has different pharmacological effects such as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. In the present study, radioprotective property of crocin was investigated in the rat liver. Thirty-two rats were equally divided into four groups: (1) control (normal saline), (2) crocin (200 mg/kg), (3) γ-rays (6Gy), and (4) crocin plus γ-rays-treated groups. The liver histopathology, serum transaminases (ALT and AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-1β (IL-1β), and hepatic lipid peroxidation, superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and glutathione peroxidase (GPX) have been assessed. The histopathological result of hepatic tissue in group 3 showed hydropic degeneration and this progressed to focal or spotty necrosis through the lobule. Moreover, some sinusoids are distended with blood or with leukocytic infiltrations. Other cases in group 3 showed periportal leukocytic infiltrations and necrosis extended out from the portal tract to involve hepatic lobules with fibrinous necrosis in portal vessels, while the examination of hepatic tissues of group 4 showed reduced deformities, irregular arrangement, congested hepatic vessels, and necrosis in hepatocytes. The results also showed significant decreased level of liver function activities, inflammatory markers, lipid peroxidation, and increased levels of liver antioxidants enzymes in group 4. Crocin showed moderate protective effect against γ-rays-induced liver toxicity. The antioxidant effect of crocin may be a major reason for its positive impact on liver parameters.

Graphical abstract



Crocin Hepatotoxicity Rats γ-Rays 



We are thankful to our colleagues in Health Radiation Research Department for providing laboratory conveniences, and technicians of the National Centre for Radiation Research and Technology (NCRRT), Egyptian Atomic Energy Authority, for providing the fundamental irradiation services. This work was done in the NCRRT, Egypt.

Compliance with ethical standards

All experiments were performed in accordance with Research Ethics Committee (REC, NCRRT) Number 13A/18.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Health Radiation Research Department, National Center for Radiation Research and Technology (NCRRT)Nasr CityEgypt
  2. 2.Egyptian Atomic Energy AuthorityNasr CityEgypt
  3. 3.Radiation Protection Department, Nuclear and Radiological Regulatory Authority (NRRA)Nasr CityEgypt

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