Neuroprotective Activities of Saffron and Crocin

  • Shinji Soeda
  • Kosuke Aritake
  • Yoshihiro Urade
  • Hiroshi Sato
  • Yukihiro Shoyama
Chapter

Abstract

We first considered that saffron is really safety food because it has a long-use history. The neuroprotective activities of saffron and its major constituent, crocin, are separately discussed in vitro and in vivo. We reviewed the inhibitory activities of crocin against PC-12 cell apoptosis. The oxidative stress decreased the cellular levels of glutathione (GSH) which is an inhibitor of neutral sphingomyelinase (N-SMase). Therefore, the level of GSH was assayed by the addition of crocin resulted in the activation of glutathione reductase (GR). It became evident that crocin treatment prevents the N-SMase activation resulting in the decrease of ceramide release. From these evidences we summarized the role of crocin for neuronal cell death. We used the ethanol-blocking assay system for learning and memory activities. The effect of saffron and crocin on improving ethanol-induced impairment of learning behaviors of mice in passive avoidance tasks has been clear. Further, we did make clear that saffron and crocin prevent the inhibitory effect of ethanol on long-term potentiation (LTP) in the dentate gyrus. Finally we found that 100 mg/kg of crocin gave non-rapid eye movement sleep (non-REM sleep) although mice were started to be active during night time.

Keywords

Saffron Crocus sativus Crocin Neuroprotective activity Learning and memory Non-REM sleep 

Abbreviation

DMEM

Dulbecco’s modified Eagle’s medium

ELISA

Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay

FB1

Fumonisin B1

c-GCS

c-Glutamylcysteinyl synthase

GPx

Glutathione peroxidase

GR

Glutathione reductase

GSH

Glutathione

IL-6

Interleukin-6

JNK

c-Jun kinase

LTP

Long-term potentiation

MAb

Monoclonal antibody

NGF

Nerve growth factor

NMDA

N-Methyl-d-aspartate

Non-REM sleeping

Non-rapid eye movement sleep

N-Smase

Neutral sphingomyelinase

PS

Phosphatidylserine

SAPK

Stress-activated protein kinase

SD

Step-down

SM

Sphingomyelin

SOD

Superoxide dismutase

ST

Step through

TNF-a

Tumor necrosis factor

TCM

Traditional Chinese medicine

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shinji Soeda
    • 1
  • Kosuke Aritake
    • 2
  • Yoshihiro Urade
    • 2
  • Hiroshi Sato
    • 3
  • Yukihiro Shoyama
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculty of Pharmaceutical ScienceFukuoka UniversityFukuokaJapan
  2. 2.International Institute for Integrative Sleep MedicineTsukuba UniversityTsukubaJapan
  3. 3.Faculty of Pharmaceutical ScienceNagasaki International UniversityNagasakiJapan

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