Crocin mediated amelioration of oxidative burden and inflammatory cascade suppresses diabetic nephropathy progression in diabetic rats.
Chem Biol Interact. 2018 Mar 25 ;284:90-100. Epub 2018 Feb 3. PMID: 29409856
Hadeer O Abou-Hany
Diabetic Nephropathy (DN) is one of the main complications associated with diabetes mellitus. Persistently elevated blood glucose level drives histopathological changes in renal tissues that hinder normal kidney functions. In the current study, crocin; the main bioactive constituent of Crocus sativus was investigated as a reno-protective agent against DN by virtue of its numerous pharmacological activities. Diabetes was induced in male Sprague-Dawely rats through intravenous injection of streptozocin (STZ) (50 mg/kg), DN was confirmed eight weeks post diabetes induction. Daily oral crocin for eight weeks (20 mg/kg) significantly reduced blood glucose level with a significant increase in insulin level. Moreover, crocin improved impaired kidney functions as manifested in reduction of serum creatinine levels, blood urea nitrogen and proteinuria with concomitant increase in urinary creatinine clearance. Furthermore, biomarkers of cell injury and tissue necrosis like LDH activity was significantly reduced, kidney content of NOS significantly declined likewise. In addition, renal antioxidants such asSOD, GSH and serum catalase activity significantly increased with concomitant reduction of kidney MDA; biomarker of oxidative load. Kidney content of toll-like receptors 4 and IL-6 significantly declined with simultaneous suppression of nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-κB/p65) protein expression and immuno-staining in rat renal cortex. Furthermore, crocin inhibited progression of renal fibrosis as seen with reduction of renal hydroxyproline and collagen content, TGF-β immuno-staining and Masson's Trichrome positive tissue. Histopathologically, crocin pretreatment was associated with minimal renaldamage with fewer fibrotic lesions. There was a concomitant restoration of renal tubules integrity with preservation of glomerular space area. In conclusion, crocin's ameliorative impact on DN may be attributed to its free radicals scavenging properties, its ability to enhance host antioxidant defense system and its ability to inhibit inflammatory and fibrotic cascades activation.