Crocin ameliorates oxidative stress and suppresses renal damage in streptozotocin induced diabetic male rats.
Biotech Histochem. 2020 Aug 24:1-8. Epub 2020 Aug 24. PMID: 32835521
Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a prevalent metabolic disorder with complications including nephropathy, neuropathy, retinopathy and peripheral vascular disease. Crocin is a water soluble carotenoid that exhibits strong antioxidant activity. I investigated the potential hypoglycemic and reno-protective effects of crocin for type 1 diabetic male rats using periodic acid-Schiff and hematoxylin staining; metalloproteinase-7 (MMP-7), phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) and phospho-Akt (p-Akt) immunohistochemistry; measurement of blood glucose, malondialdehyde (MDA), superoxide dismutase (SOD), total antioxidant and total oxidant status; and oxidative stress index. I used four groups of rats: control (saline treated), diabetic (single dose of 65 mg/kg streptozotocin), crocin (treated with 50 mg/kg) and diabetic + crocin. Crocin decreased levels of MDA, SOD, oxidative stress index and glucose significantly in diabetic animals. Renal damage from DM also was decreased by crocin treatment. MMP-7 and p-Akt immunoreactivity were stronger in the diabetic group compared to other groups, but PTEN immunoreactivity was weaker. Crocin treatment returned MMP-7 and PTEN expression to near normal. The ameliorative effect of crocin is attributed to its stimulation of the antioxidant defense system and its ability to regulate the MMP-7/PTEN/Akt signaling cascade.