Preventive effects of crocin, a natural compound from saffron, against nicotine‑induced oxidative stress and neurobehavioral disturbances


Acta Neurobiol Exp (Wars). 2024 Mar 28;84(1):59-69. doi: 10.55782/ane-2024-2538.


Nicotine is a psychostimulant that induces neurochemical and behavioral changes upon chronic administration, leading to neurodegenerative conditions associated with smoking. As of now, no preventive or therapeutic strategies are known to counteract nicotine‑induced neurodegeneration. In this study, we explore the neuroprotective effects of crocin, a bioactive agent commonly found in saffron – a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus – using a rat model. The dose‑dependent effects of crocin were evaluated in nicotine‑induced neurodegeneration and compared with a control group. Neurobehavioral changes, assessed through the elevated plus maze, the open field test, the forced swim test, and the Morris water maze, as well as oxidative stress in the hippocampus, were evaluated. Interestingly, nicotine administration resulted in depression, anxiety, and abnormal motor and cognitive functions, while crocin treatment protected the rat brain from these abnormalities. The beneficial effects of crocin were associated with reduced oxidative stress biomarkers such as malondialdehyde, along with increases in superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, and glutathione reductase activities. These results demonstrate that crocin can mitigate nicotine‑induced neurodegeneration by reducing oxidative stress, potentially offering a protective measure against neurodegenerative effects in smokers.

PMID:38587323 | DOI:10.55782/ane-2024-2538