Protective Effects of Crocetin on Arsenic Trioxide-Induced Hepatic Injury: Involvement of Suppression in Oxidative Stress and Inflammation Through Activation of Nrf2 Signaling Pathway in Rats.Drug Des Devel Ther. 2020; 14:1921-1931.DD
Arsenic trioxide (ATO) has been shown to induce hepatic injury. Crocetin is a primary constituent of saffron, which has been verified to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. In the current experiment, we evaluated the efficacy of crocetin against ATO-induced hepatic injury and explored the potential molecular mechanisms in rats.
Rats were pretreated with 25 or 50 mg/kg crocetin 6 h prior to treating with 5 mg/kg ATO to induce hepatic injury daily for 7 days.
Treatment with crocetin attenuated ATO-induced body weight loss, decreases in food and water consumption, and improved ATO-induced hepatic pathological damage. Crocetin significantly inhibited ATO-induced alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) increases. Crocetin prevented ATO-induced liver malondialdehyde (MDA) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels. Crocetin abrogated the ATO-induced decrease of catalase (CAT) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity. Crocetin was found to significantly restore the protein levels of interleukin 6 (IL-6), interleukin 1β (IL-1β), and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α). Furthermore, crocetin promoted the expression of nuclear factor erythroid 2 related factor 2 (Nrf2), heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), and NADP(H): quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1).
These findings suggest that crocetin ameliorates ATO-induced hepatic injury in rats. In addition, the effect of crocetin might be related to its role in antioxidant stress, as an anti-inflammatory agent, and in regulating the Nrf2 signaling pathway.