Neuroprotection by crocetin in a hemi-parkinsonian rat model

Abdullah Shafique Ahmad, Mubeen Ahmad Ansari, Muzamil Ahmad, Sofiyan Saleem, Seema Yousuf, Md Nasrul Hoda, Fakhrul Islam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

201 Scopus citations


Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are implicated as the leading biochemical cause of neuronal death in various neurologic disorders, including Parkinson's disease. In the present study, neuromodulatory effects of crocetin (active constituent of Crocus sativus) in a 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) model of rat Parkinsonism were investigated. Male Wistar rats were pre-treated with crocetin (25, 50 and 75 μg/kg body weight) for 7 days and subjected to unilateral intrastriatal injection of 10 μg 6-OHDA on day 8. Locomotion and rotation were observed on day 23 post-injection, and after 4 weeks, striatum and substantia nigra were dissected out by decapitation. Activity of antioxidant enzymes and content of dopamine (DA) and its metabolites were estimated in striatum, whereas glutathione (GSH) content and thiobarbituric acid reactive substance (TBARS) were evaluated in substantia nigra. Levels of GSH and dopamine were protected, while TBARS content was attenuated in crocetin-treated groups. The activity of antioxidant enzymes was decreased in the lesion group, but protected in the crocetin-treated groups. These findings were supported by the histopathologic findings in the substantia nigra that showed that crocetin protects neurons from deleterious effects of 6-OHDA. This study revealed that crocetin, which is an important ingredient of diet in India and also used in various systems of indigenous medicine, is helpful in preventing Parkinsonism and has therapeutic potential in combating this devastating neurologic disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)805-813
Number of pages9
JournalPharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2005


  • 6-OHDA
  • Antioxidant enzymes
  • Dopamine
  • Glutathione
  • Lipid peroxidation
  • Neurobehavior
  • Neurotoxicity
  • Oxidative stress
  • Parkinson disease
  • Rat model
  • Saffron

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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