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Scientific Name:
Crocus sativus
Family Name:
Iridaceae
Common Name:
saffron
Evidence of Activity
Pharmacodynamics
Crocetin from Crocus sativus (saffron) significantly inhibited angiogenesis and suppressed Sonic hedgehog signaling and secretion, cell proliferation, metastasis, migration and invasion in gastric cancer cells. Zang 2021
Crocin from Crocus sativus (saffron) significantly and time-dependently upregulated dentin sialophosphoprotein, vascular endothelial growth factor A, human leukocyte antigen-G5, and signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 messenger ribonucleic acids in human dental pulp stem cells. Saharkhiz 2021
Crocus sativus (saffron) extract ameliorates Leu27 insulin-like growth factor II receptor-induced hypertrophy possibly via regulation of calcineurin-NFAT3 and CaMKII-HDAC4 signaling cascades. Lin 2021
Saffron (Crocus sativus) extracts dose-dependently inhibited the proliferation of colorectal cancer cells, with potential therapeutic benefits against the tumor subtypes associated with defective mismatch repair (dMMR) genes; effects were associated with upregulation of caspase 3 and 7. Amin 2021
Aqueous extracts of Moroccan and Italian Crocus sativus (saffron) stigmas showed potential antidiabetic activity in alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase inhibition assays and antibacterial effects against Gram-positive bacteria in vitro; the Moroccan extract also exhibited strong antioxidant activity. Zaazaa 2021
Crocin ameliorated endogenous Aβ-induced neurotoxicity in vitro, an effect which may be beneficial in Alzheimer's disease. Du 2021
A pharmacological study showed nine bioactive ingredients of saffron (Crocus sativus) to exhibit therapeutic effects in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and identified crocetin as a potent constituent responsible for its ameliorative action; activity is associated with suppressing oxidative stress, mitigating inflammation, and upregulating Nrf2 and HO-1 expression. Xu 2021
It is hypothesized that crocin, a constituent of saffron (Crocus sativus), has potential to limit progression and severity of SARS-CoV-2 infection via a wide range of immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory effects and the ability to alleviate uncontrolled cytokine production that leads to acute lung injury. Ghasemnejad-Berenji 2021
Crocetin exhibited antiadipogenic and cytoprotective effects in healthy preadipocytes from visceral adipose tissue and subcutaneous adipose tissue obtained from healthy and obese diabetes mellitus type 2 donors. Alviz 2021
Pre-and post ionizing radiation exposure, crocetin significantly ameliorated tissue injury to pubertal mice testes fragments, as well as modulated DNA damage and oxidative stress; however, crocetin did not counteract radiation-induced changes in SIRT1, p62, and LC3II expression. Rossi 2021
Crocin and stigmasterol, two saffron (Crocus sativus) constituents, inhibited Leishmania major promastigotes and amastigotes in vitro with a fatality rate of 65.27% and 71.96%, respectively, at 24 h of culture at concentrations of 50 μg/mL. Ranjbar 2021
An article questions the reliability of data previously published in a report of the anticancer activity of safranal against colon carcinoma. Zhang 2021
Crocin decreased the size of MCF-7 breast cancer cell colonies grown on 3D microgel beads. Zhu 2021
Crocetin dose-dependently significantly inhibited the proliferation of human colorectal cancer cells, suppressed migration ability, and decreased VEGF and MMP-9 mRNA expression, effects partially dependent on regulation of the p38 (MAPK) signaling pathway. Khajeh 2020
Crocin suppressed malignant transformation, proliferation, and metastatic ability induced in human and animal gastric epithelial cells by a chemical carcinogen, an effect associated with the Nrf2/Hippo signaling pathway. Wu 2020
Safranal blocked the re-activation of quiescent prostate cancer cells in vitro and suppressed recurrent tumor growth in vivo possibly via repressing the transcriptional activity of E2F1 and NF-κB and the downregulation of AKT phosphorylation and NF-κB signaling pathways. Jiang 2020
Crocetin showed high affinity towards spike protein and main protease of SARS-CoV-2 in molecular simulation studies, as well as the ability to overcome the lipid bilayer barrier. Kordzadeh 2020
An aqueous extract of Crocus stavus (saffron) stigma dose-dependently inhibited human and mouse prostate cancer cell growth and proliferation. Ahmadnia 2020
A bioactive ethyl acetate fraction from an extract of Crocus sativus (saffron) petals, characterized for major constituents, showed potential antidepressant activity in a rat glioma cell model by significantly increasing nerve growth factor and brain-derived neurotrophic factor expression. Chen 2020
An investigation of the binding mechanisms between safranal from saffron and milk protein bovine ß-lactoglobulin (ß-LG) showed safranal to bind to the central calyx of ß-LG and the surface of ß-LG next to hydrophobic residues. Vanaei 2020
An extract of saffron (Crocus sativus) petals, a by-product of saffron production, containing kaempferol and crocin, showed weak negative inotropic and chronotropic and antioxidant activities in vitro, protecting rat cardiomyoblast cells from oxidative stress. Zeka 2020
Retraction Note: Suppressor capacity of copper nanoparticles biosynthesized using Crocus sativus L. leaf aqueous extract on methadone-induced cell death in adrenal phaeochromocytoma (PC12) cell line [No abstract] Zhang 2020
A computer simulation study found that crocin potentially binds to tubulin more effectively than the known inhibitors soblidotin and vinblastine, which may underlie the actions of the Crocus sativus (saffron) constituent as an antitumor agent. Wang 2020
Crocetin, isolated from Crocus staivus (saffron), inhibited intracellular fat accumulation in rat preadipocytes in vitro without affecting viability or lipid droplet generation via decreased C/EBPa expression. Jiménez-Ortega 2020
Saffron (Crocus sativus) constituents crocin and crocetin increased the viability of mesenchymal stem cells and provided protection against apoptosis-induced death in vitro, with better efficacy seen at lower concentrations and with crocin. Yousefi 2020
Crocetin, a constituent of Crocus sativus, decreased calcium channel contractility of normal and ischemic rat cardiomyocytes, suggesting potential use as a calcium channel antagonist in the treatment of cardiovascular disease. Zhao 2020
Saffron concentration-dependently suppressed proliferation and migration of Metastasis-Associated Colon Cancer 1 (MACC1) cells via its constituent crocin reducing the expression of the cancer stem cell marker DCLK1. Güllü 2020
Retracted: Crocus sativus L. (Saffron) Stigma Aqueous Extract Induces Apoptosis in Alveolar Human Lung Cancer Cells through Caspase-Dependent Pathways Activation [No abstract] BioMed Research International 2020
Compounds from saffron (Crocus sativus) altered amyloid beta fibril formation associated with monomer/oligomer distribution, which may indicate relevance for the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Koulakiotis 2020
Pretreatment with safranal from saffron (Crocus sativus) protected neuronal cells from apoptosis induced by oxygen/glucose deprivation in a model of cerebral ischemia/reperfusion in vitro. Forouzanfar 2020
Crocetin protected retinal pigment epithelium cells from tert-butyl hydroperoxide-induced oxidative stress in a cellular model of age-related macular degeneration by preventing intracellular ATP depletion, lactate dehydrogenase release, and disturbance of junctional integrity and cytoskeleton. Karimi 2020
Aqueous extract of saffron inhibited oral squamous cell carcinoma cell growth in vitro, with the effects increased when combined with cinnamon, ginger, and curcumin extracts. Dehghani Nazhvani 2020
Crocetin (ß-d-glucosyl) ester from the leaf biowaste of saffron (Crocus sativus) suppressed the proliferation of human breast adenocarcinoma cells, possibly by inhibiting estrogen receptor alpha and HDAC2-mediated signalling cascade, without significant toxicity to a normal cell line. Mir 2020
Saffron (Crocus sativus stigma) extracts, as well as their constituent crocetin, arrested the growth and decreased the viability of A549, MCF-7, and HeLa human cancer cells, with no cytotoxic effects to normal human cells and crocetin more potent than extracts. Gezici 2019
Data mining on the main constituents of four Tibetan medicinal plants, including Crocus sativus, with high frequency of use in the treatment of high altitude polycythemia identified potential molecular targets relevant to the disease. [Article in Chinese] Ga 2019
Saffron was found to inhibit the photosensitivity reaction of the three photosensitizers and cause a significant increase in 50% survival rate time for red blood cells and Staphylococcus aureus Bacteria after photodynamic treatment. Aljarrah 2019
Pretreatment with crocin from saffron was found to protect cardiomyocytes from lipopolysaccharide-induced toxicity in vitro via reducing inflammatory factors (TNF-a, PGE2, IL-1ß, and IL-6), gene expression (TNF-a, COX-2, IL-1ß, IL-6, and iNOS), and NO. Baradaran Rahim 2019
Crocin showed relaxant effects on rat tracheal smooth muscle contractions induced by KCl, but not by methacholine, ex vivo. Saeideh 2019
Virtual screening of a library of over 2300 compounds derived from 30 common herbs and spices identified crocin from saffron as possessing potential anti-diabetic activity. Pereira 2019
Saffron (Crocus sativus) extracts were found to significantly suppress cell proliferation, colony formation, and migration capacities in osteosarcoma cells in vitro. No DNA fragmentation or significant effect on cellular inflammation or antioxidation was observed. Ege 2019
Crocin from saffron inhibited proliferation of breast cancer and human umbilical vein endothelial cells and dose-dependently induced apoptosis and cell cycle arrest at the G2/M phase in MDA-MB-231 cells, effects possibly correlated with decreased expression of CD34. Chen 2019
Safranal was found to inhibit a-synuclein aggregation and fibril formation via direct binding and to promote disaggregation of preformed fibrils, with may be beneficial for Parkinson's disease and other neurodegenerative conditions. Save 2019
Crocus sativus constituents trans-crocin 4 and trans-crocetin were found to significantly decrease the activities of amyloidogenic enzymes, such as ß- and ?-secretases, in neuronal cell culture models of Alzheimer's disease. Chalatsa 2019
Crocus sativus methanol extract, alone and synergistically with several antibiotics, was found to inhibit growth of Streptococcus pyogenes ZUH1 associated with chronic cystitis. Abdel-Shafi 2019
A hypothesis is presented that crocin could be used in the treatment of alcohol abuse, alcohol-induced neurodegeneration, and neurobehavioral abnormalities due to its effects on the Akt/GSK and CREB/BDNF signaling pathways. Motaghinejad 2019
Crocin was found to potentially protect osteoblasts from dexamethasone-induced apoptosis by inhibiting the ROS/Ca2+-mediated mitochondrial pathway, thus suggesting that potential value as a treatment for glucocorticoid-induced bone diseases. Nie 2019
Crocin, a carotenoid compound in saffron, was shown to inhibit fibril formation by a-synuclein, a protein implicated in Parkinson's disease, via direct binding to the amyloid contact interface. Ghasemi Tigan 2019
Crocin was shown to inhibit epithelial-mesenchymal transition, cell migration, and invasion of gastric cancer cells, effects associated with microRNA-320/Krüppel-like factor 5 (KLF5)/hypoxia-inducible factor-1a (HIF-1a) signaling. Zhou 2019
Crocetin was found to dose- and time-dependently inhibit proliferation and to induce apoptosis of esophageal squamous carcinoma cells, effects associated with multiple pathways, including inhibition of activation of PI3K/AKT, extracellular signal-regulated kinase-1/2 (ERK1/2), and p38. Li 2019
Crocin suppressed the proliferation and induced apoptosis in human retinoblastoma cells, in vitro. Deng 2019
Saffron was shown to significantly inhibit cell growth, arrest cell cycle in the G0/G1 phase, and induce cell apoptosis in hepatocellular carcinoma cells in vitro, as well as to increase number of senescent cells and change cellular morphology. Liu 2019
Safranal was found to concentration-dependently inhibit amyloid fibril formation by human serum albumin in vitro, as well as to decrease surface hydrophobicity. Ali 2019
Safranal was shown to exhibit inhibitory effects on the transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1) channel in human cells and rat and mouse dorsal root ganglion neurons, which might be associated with its antinociceptive effects. Li Puma 2019
Crocin was shown to reverse bone resorption activity of osteoclasts induced with advanced glycation end-products, as well as to reverse methylglyoxal-induced changes in mitochondrial mass, mitochondrial membrane potential, mitochondrial superoxide, and glyoxalase I levels. Suh 2018
Crocetin was shown to quench multi-drug resistance in human ovarian cisplatin-resistant carcinoma cell lines. Neyshaburinezhad 2018
Pretreatment with safranal (2.5-5 μM) was shown to significantly decrease beta-amyloid-induced toxicity in PC12 neural cells and to dose-dependently significantly reduce apoptosis. Rafieipour 2018
Crocetin was shown to significantly inhibit platelet-derived growth factor receptor β (PDGFRβ)-induced proliferation and migration of retinal pigment epithelial cells through the downregulation of regulatory signaling pathways. Zhang 2018
Crocetin significantly inhibited proliferation and induced apoptosis in primary acute promyelocytic leukemia, NB4, and HL60 cells, while dose-dependently inducing differentiation of leukemic cells toward granulocytic pattern, increased differentiated cells, and decreased immature cells. Moradzadeh 2018
Pretreatment of human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells with crocin prior to exposure to D-galactose shown to ameliorate cellular aging, including reducing the aging marker beta-galactosidase and inhibiting advanced glycation end products and reactive oxygen species production. Heidari 2018
Saffron aqueous extract concentration-dependently induced relaxation in isolated endothelium-intact rat aortic rings, due mainly to effects on endothelium via nitric oxide synthase pathway and partly due to effects on vascular smooth muscle cells via L type voltage dependent calcium channels. Razavi 2018
Non-cytotoxic concentrations of crocin and crocetin were found to effectively enhance osteogenic differentiation of rat bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells. Kalalinia 2018
Safranal was shown to suppress the proliferation of colon cancer cells in vitro due to accretion of reactive oxygen species and decrease in mitochondrial membrane potential, ultimately leading to apoptosis. Zhang 2018
Safranal was shown to induce DNA double-strand breaks and to provide a pro-apoptotic effect through activation of both intrinsic and extrinsic initiator caspases indicating ER stress-mediated apoptosis, in hepatocellular carcinoma cells. Al-Hrout 2018
Saffron carotenoids crocin and crocetin were found to dose-dependently inhibit cell viability, mobility, migration, invasion, and adhesion to extracellular matrix of triple negative metastatic breast cancer cells via interference with the Wnt/β-catenin pathway. Arzi 2018
Crocin was shown to prevent the photoaging effects of UVB irradiation on human dermal fibroblasts in vitro, including reversal of the suppression of cell proliferation and marked decrease in the levels of senescence‑associated β‑galactosidase. Deng 2018
Smooth muscle relaxant activity of Crocus sativus (saffron) and its constituents: possible mechanisms. [No abstract] Gorginzadeh 2018
Crocin was shown to protect squalene against ultraviolet light-induced peroxidation, prevent the release of inflammatory mediators, and modulate the expression of NF-kB related genes and glycosylation, thereby exhibiting potential for the prevention of skin aging. Fagot 2018
The hepatoprotective effects of crocin were shown to involve antioxidant activities, as well as protection of the mitochondria and lysosome, in isolated rat hepatocytes. Yousefsani 2018
Safranal was shown in vitro to dose-dependently significantly ameliorate the toxicity of glutamic acid and quinolinic acid to oligodendrocytes, results which may be potentially beneficial in the treatment of multiple sclerosis. Alavi 2018
Crocin was shown to significantly inhibit platelet‑derived growth factor BB‑induced vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation, as well as the phenotypic switch, suggesting that it may be beneficial for atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases. Tong 2018
Crocin was shown to decrease osteoclastogenesis in bone marrow‑derived macrophages and to downregulate the expression of osteoclast marker proteins via inhibition of c‑Jun N‑terminal kinase (JNK) and nuclear factor‑κB (NF‑κB) signaling pathways. Shi 2018
A saffron extract, essential oil, safranal, and crocin improved viability and reduced reactive oxygen species production in H2O2-treated bovine aortic endothelial cells; crocin and safranal significantly decreased apoptosis. Effects were associated with MAPK signaling pathways. Rahiman 2018
Crocin, a saffron carotenoid, was shown to inhibit interleukin-6-induced signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) activation, associated with tumor growth and metastasis, in hepatocarcinoma Hep3B and HepG2 cells. Kim 2018
Safranal, a monoterpene aldehyde from saffron flowers, was shown to exhibit anti-elastase, anti-hyaluronidase, anti-collagenase, and metalloproteinase-inhibitory activities in vitro, along with a sun protection factor (SPF) value of 6.6, providing evidence as an effective photoprotective agent. Madan 2018
Crocetin inhibited tyrosinase activity in vitro, and reduced melanin amount in cultured melanoma cells. Hashemi-Shahri 2017
Crocin and picrocrocin, but not an aqueous extract of saffron, showed inhibitory activities against Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1), as well as HIV-1, effectively inhibiting replication and cell entry of HSV-1, in vitro. Soleymani 2017
Saffron and its constituents crocin-1, crocin-2, and crocetin prevented formation of α-synuclein fibrils, as shown by transmission electron microscopy. Inoue 2017
Unusual effects of safranal on the microtubules were observed in HeLa cells, including inhibition of recovery of the microtubule network with minimal damage to the microtubules. Cheriyamundath 2017
Crocin suppressed neuroinflammation, induced by endotoxin (LPS) in cortical networks of neurons, astrocytes, and microglia ex vivo; similar results have been reported with minocycline, curcumin, and resveratrol. Gullo 2017
Extracts of Crocus sativus, Serenoa repens, and Pinus massoniana inhibited inflammation in isolated rat prostate challenged with endotoxin, synergistic effects suggesting rationale for use of the combination to treat prostatitis. Chiavaroli 2017
Crocin (0.05-4 mM) and safranal (0.2-3.2 mM) inhibited the growth of oral squamous cell carcinoma cells in vitro. Jabini 2017
Crocetin was found to inhibit human lactate dehydrogenase activity, associated with tumor cells, and suppressed proliferation in two glycolytic cancer cell lines. Granchi 2017
The potential of saffron to alleviate Alzheimer's disease was explored in a novel, cell-based model incorporating CMOS-chips for monitoring network-wide electrophysiological activity. Amin 2017
An extract of saffron (C. sativus) floral biowaste promoted wound closure and enhanced VEGF production by keratinocytes in vitro. Verjee 2017
The cytotoxicity of crocin to breast cancer cells was found to involve targeting of microtubules, inducing inhibition of mitosis and multipolar spindle formation, in vitro; crocin co-eluted with tubulin, suggesting that it binds to tubulin; vinblastine inhibited crocin binding to tubulin. Hire 2017
Crocin suppressed biomarkers of cell survival, invasive behavior and angiogenesis in human multiple myeloma cells. Kim 2017
Crocin suppressed oxidative stress and pro-inflammatory response, induced by high-glucose and free fatty acid conditions, in microglial cells, in vitro. Yang 2017
A standard combination of Panax ginseng, Ginkgo biloba, and Crocus sativus suppressed lactate dehydrogenase release and cell death, induced by hydrogen peroxide in human vascular endothelial cells in vitro. Seto 2017
Safranal, a dominant component of saffron, fully abrogated the growth of wild-type Escherichia coli, in vitro. Liu 2017
Trans-crocetin, a constituent of C. sativus, augmented clearance of amyloid-β(1-42) in monocytes from patients with Alzheimer's disease, in vitro. Tiribuzi 2017
Safranal was shown to have neuroprotective effects in dopaminergic neurons, in an in vitro model of Parkinson's disease, mainly associated with the Nrf2 signaling pathway. Pan 2016
Safranal decreased lymphocytes viability in vitro, showing a stimulatory effect on IFN-γ secretion in non-stimulated cells, suggesting an effect on Th1/Th2 balance. Feyzi 2016
Crocetin suppressed endotoxin-induced inflammatory response in human endothelial cells, in vitro. Song 2016
Crocin mitigated oxidative damage to erythrocytes, induced by sodium nitrite (NaNO2), and reduced the level of methemoglobin, commonly associated with nitrite intoxication, in vitro. Ansari 2016
Crocin attenuated oxidative stress and apoptosis, induced by Dichlorvos (a common household insecticide, associated with increased risk of ADHD, among others), in human colon cells, in vitro. Ben Salem 2016
Crocin suppressed the proliferation of ovarian cancer cells and reduced the expression of MRP1 and MRP2 genes, responsible for multidrug resistance, in the cells. Mahdizadeh 2016
Safranal demonstrated antimicrobial activity against Candida spp. Carradori 2016
Crocin, from saffron, ameliorated endoplasmic reticulum stress and apoptosis, induced by zearalenone metabolites, in human embryonic kidney cells, in vitro. Ben Salem 2016
Crocin decreased the expression of microglial activation markers and pro-inflammatory mediators, induced by LPS, while up-regulating CX3CR1 expression via suppression of NF-κB/Yin Yang 1 signaling, in microglial cells in vitro. Lv 2016
A C. sativus extract, as well as crocin, induced DNA damage in human breast cancer MCF-7 cells, via downregulation of caspase 8, 9 and cleavage of caspase 3. No toxic effects of the extract (300 mg/kg of b.wt) were observed in the liver, kidney, spleen, lungs, and heart of mice. Bakshi 2016
The pharmacological effects of a traditional Chinese medicinal compound saffron formula were elucidated using an ADME analysis and systems-pharmacology approach, identifying 103 potential active components and their corresponding 219 direct targets. Liu 2016
Beneficial effects on retinal neurodegenerative disorders (such as retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration) were shown to involve interaction with P2X7R purinergic receptors in the eye. Corso 2016
A saffron extract alleviated cardiomyocytes injury induced by doxorubicin and ischemia-reperfusion in vitro. Chahine 2016
Crocin inhibited cell proliferation and induced apoptosis in human breast cancer MCF-7 cells, via caspase-8 mediated pathway, in vitro. Lu 2015
Crocetin induced endothelium-dependent relaxant effects in rat aortic segments, whereas crocins showed procontractile activities via smooth muscle-related mechanisms. Llorens 2015
Crocetinic acid, reportedly purified from saffron crocetin, suppressed pancreatic cancer cells, possibly targeting cancer stem cells via inhibition of hedgehog signaling, in vitro, and suppressed tumor xenografts in vivo. Rangarajan 2015
Crocin suppressed PC12 neural cell injury, apoptosis, and mitochondrial dysfunction, induced by 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP(+)), as a model of Parkinson's disease, in vitro. Zhang 2015
Crocin inhibited tau protein aggregation, associated with Alzheimer's disease, in vitro. Karakani 2015
Safranal (0.1-70μM) inhibited microtubule polymerization via direct binding to tubulin, in vitro. Naghshineh 2015
Crocin induced cell cycle arrest and apoptotic death in ovarian cancer cells in vitro. Xia 2015
Crocin and safranal, the main constituent of interest in Crocus sativus, were assessed for their potential activities against Helicobacter pylori, Plasmodium spp., and Leishmania spp. De Monte 2015
Crocetin induced cell cycle arrest and apoptotic death, as well as suppressed the migration of human esophageal squamous cell carcinoma cells in vitro. Li 2015
Crocin inhibited proliferation of both p53-null and wild-type colorectal cancer cells, in vitro, via suppression of autophagosome formation and cell cycle arrest, respectively. Amin 2015
Crocin did not show a potent effect on human myeloma cells, in vitro. Rezaee 2014
Safranal was found to bind with the Bcr-Abl protein at the same place with the drug used in the treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), imatinib mesylate. Both safranal and crocin showed cytotoxicity to CML cells in vitro. Geromichalos 2014
Safranal inhibited the growth of neuroblastoma cells in vitro. Samarghandian 2014
The activity of crocin and safranal, the key components of saffron (Crocus sativus), on human monoamine oxidases (MAO) A and B were investigated, with indications of MAO-inhibitory activities. De Monte 2014
Differences in the cytotoxic effects of crocin and crocetin in cancer cells, were revealed. Thus, crocetin, but not crocin, induced reactive oxygen species production in HeLa cells; both compounds decreased protein expression of lactate dehydrogenase A in cancer cells, among other findings. Kim 2014
Crocin was shown, by 2D gel electrophoresis and MALDI-TOF/TOF mass spectrometry, to physically bind to a wide range of cellular proteins, including structural proteins, membrane transporters, and enzymes involved in ATP and redox homeostasis and signal transduction. Hosseinzadeh 2014
The mechanisms of anti-cancer effects of crocin and crocetin, which may differ between the two types of compounds, are discussed. Bathaie 2014
An aqueous extract of saffron (Crocus sativus) inhibited cell proliferation and induced apoptotic cell death in human lung cancer cells (A549), via a caspase-dependent pathway. Samarghandian 2013
Safranal induced apoptotic cell death in a human prostate cancer cell line (PC-3). Samarghandian 2013
Crocin (250-500 µM for 24-48 h) exhibited mild cytotoxic effects in a leukemia cell line. Rezaee 2013
Crocus sativus (saffron) extract, as well as its constituent crocin, induced cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in five different human prostate cancer cell lines, while nonmalignant cells were not affected. D'Alessandro 2013
Crocin prevented the formation of Aβ42, the less common form of amyloid β peptide, by decreasing the hydrophobic area and changing the conformation of the peptide, possibly disrupting the amyloid aggregates, in vitro. Ghahghaei 2013
Crocin is reported to strongly induce polymerization of isolated tubulin microtubules and affect their structure, in vitro. Zarei Jaliani 2013
Safranal was shown to physically bind to beta actin, cytochrome b-c1 complex sub-unit 1, trifunctional enzyme sub-unit beta, and ATP synthase sub-unit alpha and beta, using affinity-based chromatography. Hosseinzadeh 2013
Crocin induced apoptosis in human gastric adenocarcinoma cells, in vitro. Hoshyar 2013
Binding to Hsp90 alpha, thus opening the ATPase catalytic site of the enzyme to nucleophilic attacks, may be related to anti-cancer activity of picrocrocin, a bioactive constituent of saffron. Bhattacharjee 2012
The effects of crocin, crocetin, picrocrocin, and safranal (all active constituents of saffron) on telomeric DNA structures were evaluated in vitro. Hoshyar 2012
Saffron was shown to increase the respiratory control rate in cerebral mitochondria isolated from hypoxia-exposed rats, in vitro. Maurya 2012
Saffron enhanced glucose uptake and boosted insulin sensitivity in skeletal muscle cells in vitro. Kang 2012
Anti-arthritic activities of crocin, the coloring compound of saffron (Crocus sativus) are reported. Hemshekhar 2012
Crocin, the pigment constituent of Crocus sativus, inhibited telomerase activity in HepG2 hepatocarcinoma cells, in vitro. Noureini 2012
Saffron extract showed moderate (up to 30%), mixed-type acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitory activity, with safranal innteracting only with the binding site of the AChE, but crocetin and dimethylcrocetin binding simultaneously to the catalytic and peripheral anionic sites. Geromichalos 2012
Saffron extract induced DNA damage and apoptosis in wildtype and p53-/- colorectal cancer cells, in vitro, with a more pronounced induction of autophagy in the p53-/- cells. Bajbouj 2012
Aqueous extract of Crocus sativus induced maturation, fertilization rate, and developmental competence of mouse oocytes in vitro. Tavana 2012
Crocin (10-50 μM) attenuated acrylamide cytotoxicity in PC12 cells. Mehri 2012
Crocetin suppressed VEGF-induced angiogenesis in several models in vitro. Umigai 2012
An ethanolic extract of saffron (Crocus sativus) induced apoptosis in carcinomic human alveolar (lung) basal epithelial cells in vitro. Samarghandian 2011
Saffron was shown to stimulate the activity of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) α in vitro. Mueller 2011
Crocetin inhibited the expression of pro-MT1-MMP and pro-MT2-MMP, associated with cancer invasiveness and metastases, and gelatinase activity, in highly invasive human breast cancer cells, in vitro. Chryssanthi 2011
Extracts of Crocus sativus inhibited the viability of and IFN-γ release by phytohemagglutinin-induced human lymphocytes, inhibited IL-10 secretion in both stimulated and non-stimulated cells, and increased IFN-γ and IL-4 secretion in nonstimulated cells, in vitro. Boskabady 2011
An ethanolic extract of saffron (Crocus sativus) showed pro-apoptotic effects in human alveolar basal epithelial carcinomic, but not non-malignant cells, in vitro. Samarghandian 2010
Crocin induced apoptosis and G1-phase cell cycle arrest in human pancreatic cancer cells, decreasing the cell viability in a dose- and time-dependent manner, in vitro. Bakshi 2010
Crocin and crocetin were shown to be effective in the inhibition of LPS-induced nitric oxide release, production of proinflammatory cytokines and reactive oxygen species, in rat brain microglial cells, and blocked the effect of LPS on hippocampal cell death, in vitro. Nam 2010
The inhibitory effects of aqueous-ethanolic extracts of Crocus sativus (Iridaceae), on histamine receptors were examined on tracheal chains of guinea pigs and confirmed. Boskabady 2010
Neuroprotective effect of saffron extract, its active component crocin and gamma-glutamylcysteinylglycine was studied in glucose-induced neurotoxicity, using PC12 cells as a suitable in vitro model of diabetic neuropathy. Mousavi 2010
Investigation of in vitro and in vivo xenograft growth inhibition by crocin isolated from Kashmiri saffron (Crocus sativus) shows that crocin decreased cell viability in Dalton's lymphoma cells, in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. Bakshi 2009
A microbiological study of saffron spice was undertaken, analyzing 79 samples obtained from the main producer countries, namely Greece, Iran, Italy, Morocco, and Spain. Overall, microbial contamination in saffron was markedly lower than in other spices. Cosano 2009
The role of caspases and Bax protein in saffron-induced apoptosis in MCF-7 cells, a commonly used cell culture system for in vitro studies on breast cancer was investigated. Mousavi 2009
The spectroscopic results and antioxidant activities of saffron components safranal, crocetin and dimethylcrocetin complexes with calf-thymus DNA (ctDNA) and transfer RNA in aqueous solution at physiological conditions were compared. Kanakis 2009
Evaluation of the effects of saffron ethanolic extract and its constituents, crocin and safranal, in skeletal muscle during I/R injury indicated a protective effect against lower limb I/R in rat. Hosseinzadeh 2009
Saffron extracts exhibit a remarkable intracellular antioxidant activity that cannot be revealed using assays repeatedly applied to the evaluation of phenolic-type antioxidants. Wollersen 2009
Crude extracts from 8 medicinal plants were screened for their in vitro antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. Viscum album and Crocus sativus had the highest antioxidant (82.23%) and total phenolic content (42.29 mgGAE/g DW), respectively. Sengul 2009
A potent inhibitory effect of aqueous-ethanol extract from Crocus sativus on the calcium channel of guinea-pig heart was discovered. Boskabady 2008
To optimize an in vitro protocol for propagation of saffron through somatic embryogenesis, effects of various concentrations of 2,4-D ( 0, 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2, 4 and 8 mg L(-1)) in combination with BAP (0, 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2, 4 and 8 mg L(-1)) were studied. Rajabpoor 2008
Systematic investigation of the effects of crocetin on platelet activity and thrombosis formation suggest that the favorable impacts of crocetin on platelet activity and thrombosis formation may be related to the inhibition of Ca (2+) elevation in stimulated platelets. Yang 2008
A study was carried out to generate monoclonal antibody against Cro s 2 in order to characterize this major allergen of saffron pollen. Sankian 2008
It is indicated that there is an antiabsence seizure property in safranal, a constituent of Crocus sativus, and its effect may be due to modifications on the benzodiazepine binding sites of the GABAA receptor complex. Sadeghnia 2008
It is shown that acute systemic injection of safranal, a constituent of Crocus sativus, reduces the extracellular concentrations of glutamate and aspartate in the rat hippocampus following kainic Acid administration. Hosseinzadeh 2008
It is found that saffron could cause cell death in HeLa and HepG2 cells, in which apoptosis or programmed cell death plays an important role. Saffron could also be considered as a promising chemotherapeutic agent in cancer treatment. Tavakkol-Afshari 2008
Examination of the effect of aqueous extract of Crocus sativus stigmas (CSE) and crocin on methyl methanesulfonate-induced DNA damage in multiple mice organs using the comet assay in vivo indicate that there is a genoprotective property in CSE and crocin. Hosseinzadeh 2008
The stimulatory effect of aqueous-ethanolic extracts of Crocus sativus and one of its constituents, safranal, was examined on beta-adrenoceptors in tracheal chains of guinea pigs to study the mechanism(s) of the relaxant effects of Crocus sativus (Iridaceae). Nemati 2008
Saffron extracts and crocetin had a clear binding capacity at the PCP binding side of the NMDA receptor and at the sigma(1) receptor, while the crocins and picrocrocin were not effective. Lechtenberg 2008
The anti-proliferative effects of Crocus sativus extract and its major constituent, crocin, on three colorectal cancer cell lines (HCT-116, SW-480, and HT-29) was investigated. In addition, Crocus sativus' effect on non-cancer cells was evaluated. Aung 2007
The interaction of the Crocetin and dimethylcrocetin, derived from crocins, found in the stigmas of saffron, with human serum albumin in aqueous solution at physiological conditions using constant protein concentration and various ligand contents was examined. Kanakis 2007
The study examined the interaction of safranal, crocetin, and dimethylcrocetin with calf-thymus DNA in aqueous solution at physiological conditions, using constant DNA concentration (6.25 mM) and various drug/DNA(phosphate) molar ratios from 1/48 to 1/2. Kanakis 2007
To confirm whether neuroprotective effects of saffron are caused solely by crocin, the antioxidant and GSH-synthetic activities of the crocins were examined in PC12 cells under serum-free and hypoxic conditions. Ochiai 2007
The influence of safranal, a constituent of Crocus sativus L. stigmas, on methyl methanesulfonate -induced DNA damage was examined using alkaline single-cell gel electrophoresis, or comet, assay in multiple organs of mice (liver, lung, kidney, and spleen). Hosseinzadeh 2007
Evaluation of the cytotoxic effect of aqueous extract of saffron on human transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) and mouse non-neoplastic fibroblast cell lines shows saffron aqueous extract has dose dependent inhibitory effects on the growth of both TCC 5637 and normal L929 cell lines. Feizzadeh 2007
The antioxidant properties of extract of Crocus sativus stigmas and its effect on Abeta(1-40) fibrillogenesis was examined in vitro, to identify agents inhibiting the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. Papandreou 2006
Examinaion of the relaxant effects of aqueous-ethanolic extracts of Crocus sativus and one of its main constituents, safranal, on guinea-pig tracheal chains showed that effect was comparable to or even higher than that of theophylline at the concentrations used. Boskabady 2006
Fusaric acid, a fusarium mycotoxin, was used to examine cell death in saffron (Crocus sativus Linnaeus) roots, using several apoptosis assays. Results show that moderate FA doses (50-100 microM) induce apoptotic features while high FA doses (> 200 microM) stimulate necrosis. Samadi 2006
It is shown that blue and white light selectively induce rod and cone cell death in an in vitro model. Crocin protects retinal photoreceptors against light-induced cell death. Laabich 2006
Three commonly used assay methods (cytochrome c reduction, nitro blue tetrazolium reduction, and pyrogallol autoxidation) were compared for the measurement of superoxide dismutase activity in Crocus sativus L. corm extract which revealed pyrogallol autoxidation as most appropriate. Keyhani 2006
Examination of the crocin bleaching assay performance and in-house validation were focused on probe and test compound characteristics, conditions for peroxyl radical generation, reaction monitoring, and expression of results. Ordoudi 2006
Among 11 spices, saffron displayed the highest antioxidant capacity, whereas among 5 dried fruits consumed in Italy, prune exhibited the highest value. Pellegrini 2006
The influence of some Chinese crude drugs, including Crocus sativus, Carthamus tinctorius, Ginkgo biloba and Bulbus allii macrostemi on Ca(2+) influx in isolated rat aortas was investigated by using (45)Ca as a radioactive tracer, and their calcium antagonistic effects were evaluated. Liu 2005
Development of crocin assay using the Indian saffron is economical and sensitive method for measurement of total antioxidant capacities from human plasma as well as natural compounds and plant extracts. Chatterjee 2005
The DPPH radical scavenging activity of a natural product that possesses biological properties, an extract of Crocus sativus L. and its constituents (crocin, safranal) was studied & a methanol extract of Crocus sativus exhibited high antioxidant activity. Assimopoulou 2005
Lipid peroxidation in platelet membranes induced by iron-ascorbic acid system was inhibited by saffron extract significantly with IC50 of 0.33 mg. Hence, it may be said that aqueous extract of saffron may have component(s), which protect platelets from aggregation and lipid peroxidation. Jessie 2005
Investigation of cardio-protective effect of crocetin on primary culture of cardiac myocyte treated with noradrenaline shows that crocetin could alleviate the disturbance of energy metabolism and decrease the percentage of apoptosis of cardiac myocyte treated with noradrenaline. [Article in Chinese] Shen 2004
Report on the effects of crocin on neuronally differentiated pheochromocytoma (PC-12) cells deprived of serum/glucose suggest that crocin is a unique and potent antioxidant that combats oxidative stress in neurons. Ochiai 2004
It is suggested that crocin combats the serum/glucose deprivation-induced ceramide formation in PC-12 cells by increasing GSH levels and prevents the activation of JNK pathway, which is reported to have a role of the signaling cascade downstream ceramide for neuronal cell death. Ochiai 2004a
Saffron (dried stigmas of Crocus sativus L.), was evaluated in the mouse bone marrow micronucleus test for its possible protective effects against chromosomal damage induced by cisplatin (CIS), mitomycin-C (MMC) and urethane. Premkumar 2003
The antimutagenic, comutagenic and cytotoxic effects of saffron & its main ingredients was assessed using Ames/Salmonella test system, 2 well known mutagens (BP, 2AA), the in vitro colony formation assay & 4 different cultured human normal (CCD-18Lu) and malignant (HeLa, A-204 and HepG2) cells. Abdullaev 2003
It is suggested that the relaxatory action of Crocus sativus petals' extract on contraction induced by electrical field stimulation in the rat isolated vas deferens is a postsynaptic effect. Fatehi 2003
Saffron in filaments is the dried, dark red stigmata of Crocus sativus L. flowers & used as a spice, food colorant, & a drug in medicine. It is demonstrated that saffron extract itself and its main constituents, the carotenoids, possess chemopreventive properties against cancer. Abdullaev 2002
Saffron is found to be not toxic, non-mutagenic, non-antimutagenic & non-comutagenic. 12 compounds were isolated including crocin-1, 2 & 3. Saffron & some ingredients displayed a dose-dependent inhibitory activity against different types of human malignant cells in vitro. [Article in Spanish] Abdullaev Jafarova 2002
It is demonstrated that crocin, an ethanol-extractable component of Crocus sativus L. suppresses the effect of tumor necrosis factor -alpha on neuronally differentiated PC-12 cells. Soeda 2001
The antioxidant property of crocin -a water soluble carotenoid-is found in the fruits of gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides Ellis) and in the stigmas of saffron (Crocus sativus) as evaluated by the thiocyanate method was better than with the thiobarbituric acid method. Pham 2000
Studies of intracellular calcium fluctuations, and release of lactate dehydrogenase in human cervical epitheloid carcinoma cells, showed that Corms of Crocus sativus L. caused plasma membrane damage, allowing movements of both calcium and macromolecules, and leading to cell lysis. Escribano 2000
Study on the possible immunomodulatory and anti-invasive properties of saffron corms which contain a proteoglycan compound support a plausible immuno-modulating activity for this saffron Crocus compound. Escribano 1999b
A common flavonol, kaempferol, isolated from the fresh flower petals of Crocus sativus L. was found to inhibit the oxidation of L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA) catalyzed by mushroom tyrosinase with an ID(50) of 67 microgram/mL (0.23 mM). Kubo 1999
Saffron corms have been demonstrated to contain a proteoglycan that inhibits growth of human tumor cell and shown that callus cultures of saffron corm also synthesize such glycoconjugate which is cytotoxic against human cervical epithelioid carcinoma cells (IC50 = 7 mg ml-1). Escribano 1999a
A novel glycoconjugate isolated from saffron corm extracts shows remarkable cytotoxic activity on cultured human cancer cells (HeLa) exposed to the glycoconjugate showed swelling & local plasma membrane evaginations, suggesting that cytotoxicity is mediated by extracellular fluid uptake. Escribano 1999
Human tumor cells treated with crocin, which is isolated from extracts of saffron (Crocus sativus L.), exhibited wide cytoplasmic vacuole-like areas, reduced cytoplasm, cell shrinkage and pyknotic nuclei, suggesting apoptosis induction. Escribano 1996
It is found that the treatment of tumor Hela cells with saffron extract in combination with selenite increased the level of inhibition of the colony formation and nucleic acid synthesis in comparison with cells that were treated with only one of these agents. Abdullaev 1995-1996
The effects of carotenoids of Crocus sativus L. (saffron) on cell proliferation and differentiation of HL-60 cells have been studied and compared with those of all-trans retinoic acid. Tarantilis 1994
The effect of crocetin on colony formation and cellular DNA, RNA and protein synthesis in three malignant human cell lines: HeLa (cervical epitheloid carcinoma), A549 (lung adenocarcinoma) and VA13 (SV-40 transformed fetal lung fibroblast) cells has been examined. Abdullaev 1994
It is found that malignant cells were more sensitive than normal cells to the inhibitory effects of saffron on both DNA and RNA synthesis & there was no effect on protein synthesis in any of the three human cell lines: A549 cells, WI-38 cells and VA-13 cells. Abdullaev 1992
The effect of concentrated extract of saffron prepared from the flowers of Crocus sativis on the ability of HeLa cells to form colonies, and on cellular DNA, RNA and protein synthesis was examined. Abdullaev 1992a
Topical application of Nigella sativa and Crocus sativus extracts inhibited two-stage initiation/promotion [dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA)/croton oil] skin carcinogenesis in mice. Salomi 1991
Bulbs of Crocus sativus variety Cartwrightianus were found to contain both a platelet aggregation inducer and inhibitor. The aggregating factor has a Mr of 42 kDa estimated by a Sephadex G75 column and SDS-polyacrylamide slab gel electrophoresis. Liakopoulou-Kyriakides 1991
[Studies on the pharmacological action of zang hong hua (Crocus sativus L.). I. Effects on uterus and estrus cycle.] [Article in Chinese] Chang 1964
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ORIGINAL RESEARCH BY: Rasheed Rabata
April 2019
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November 2021