SAFFRON EXTRACT AMELIORATES OXIDATIVE DAMAGE AND MITOCHONDRIAL DYSFUNCTION IN THE RAT BRAIN
Given its widely reported antioxidant properties, the effects of saffron extract (SE) were tested in striatal synaptosomes isolated from the brain of rats exposed to the mitochondrial toxin 3-nitropropionic acid (3-NPA). The assays of thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) formation and 3-(3,5-dimethylthiazol- 2-yl)2,5 diphenyltetrazolium bromite (MTT) reduction were used as current markers of lipid peroxidation (LP) and synaptosomal viability, respectively. Our results show that 3-NPA alone (20 mg/kg/day, i.p.), given to rats for 3 days, produced a significant increase in LP and decreased the mitochondrial function in synaptosomal fractions when compared with control. In contrast, striatal synaptosomes from those animals receiving SE (1 mg/kg/day, i.p.) for 5 days (administration schedule starting 1 day before and finishing 1 day after 3-NPA), exhibited levels of LP similar to control, while preserved their mitochondrial function. Another index of LP, the formation of lipid fluorescent products, was tested in brain homogenates incubated with 3-NPA and/or SE. 3-NPA significantly increased LP by 90%, while SE decreased this marker. Altogether, these data suggest that protective actions of SE produced in the 3-NPA model may be related with its antioxidant properties, as saffron is rich in antioxidant carotenoids. Our data also open a research field on the potential neuroprotective properties of saffron compounds against neurodegenerative disorders with energy impairment and excitotoxic components.
Del-Angel, D.S., Martínez, N.L.H., Cruz, M.E.G., Urrutia, E.C., Riverón-Negrete, L. and Abdullaev, F. (2007). SAFFRON EXTRACT AMELIORATES OXIDATIVE DAMAGE AND MITOCHONDRIAL DYSFUNCTION IN THE RAT BRAIN. Acta Hortic. 739, 359-366
3-nitropropionic acid, antioxidant defense, brain tissue, lipid peroxidation, mitochondrial function, saffron