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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 650: I International Symposium on Saffron Biology and Biotechnology

ANTIDEPRESSANT EFFECT OF CROCUS SATIVUS L. STIGMA EXTRACTS AND THEIR CONSTITUENTS, CROCIN AND SAFRANAL, IN MICE

Authors:   H. Hosseinzadeh, G. Karimi, M. Niapoor
Keywords:   antidepressant activity, Crocus sativus, crocin, safranal
Abstract:
The effects of aqueous and ethanolic extracts of Crocus sativus L. stigma and their constituents safranal and crocin were studied for the antidepressant activity using forced swimming test in mice. The extracts and constituents were injected intraperitoneally to mice. The aqueous and ethanolic extracts of stigma (0.2-0.8 g/kg) decreased immobility time in comparison to normal saline. Safranal (0.15-0.5 ml kg) and crocin (50-600 mg/kg) also reduced immobility time. Swimming time was increased by fluoxetine and both extracts. Safranal increased swimming time. Climbing time was increased by imipramine and both extracts. Safranal with a higher dose (0.5 mg/kg) and crocin at doses 50 and 600 increased climbing time. In the open field activity test, the ethanolic extract and safranal increased stereotypic activities. On the basis of these results, the antidepressant effect of C. sativus stigma extracts may be mediated via safranal and crocin. Crocin may act via the uptake inhibition of dopamine and norepinephrine, and safranal via serotonin.
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