Akt/GSK-3β/eNOS phosphorylation arbitrates safranal-induced myocardial protection against ischemia-reperfusion injury in rats.
ABSTRACT Traditional medicine has been appropriately identified as the most productive soil for the cultivation and harvesting of modern medicines. Herein, we postulate that safranal, an active constituent of Crocus sativus, owing to its strong antioxidant and anti-apoptotic potential, could be a valuable molecule in alleviating myocardial ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury.
To evaluate this hypothesis, safranal (0.1-0.5 mL/kg/day, i.p.) or saline were administered to rats for 14 days, and on 15th day, one-stage ligation of left anterior descending coronary artery for 45 min was performed, followed by 60 min reperfusion.
We concluded that safranal not only significantly decreased infarct size, but also improved left ventricular functions and the overall hemodynamic status of the myocardium. Interestingly, safranal enhanced phosphorylation of Akt/GSK-3β/eNOS and suppressed IKK-β/NF-κB protein expressions in IR-challenged myocardium. Our findings also imply that safranal exhibits strong anti-apoptotic potential, as evidenced by upregulated Bcl-2 expression and downregulated Bax and caspase3 expression with decreased TUNEL positivity. Moreover, safranal dose-dependently normalized myocardial antioxidant and nitrotyrosine levels, cardiac injury markers (LDH and CK-MB), and decreased TNF-α level in IR-insulted myocardium. Histopathological and ultrastructural findings correlated with the functional and biochemical outcomes showing preserved myocardial architecture and decreased inflammatory cells and edema.
Taken together, these results provide convincing evidence of safranal as an invaluable molecule in myocardial IR setting probably due to its fortified antioxidant and anti-apoptotic potential.
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ABSTRACT: Saffron, an extract from Crocus sativus, has been largely used in traditional medicine for its antiapoptotic and anticarcinogenic properties. In this work, we investigate the effects of safranal, a component of saffron stigmas, in attenuating retinal degeneration in the P23H rat model of autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa. We demonstrate that administration of safranal to homozygous P23H line-3 rats preserves both photoreceptor morphology and number. Electroretinographic recordings showed higher a- and b-wave amplitudes under both photopic and scotopic conditions in safranal-treated versus non-treated animals. Furthermore, the capillary network in safranal-treated animals was preserved, unlike that found in untreated animals. Our findings indicate that dietary supplementation with safranal slows photoreceptor cell degeneration and ameliorates the loss of retinal function and vascular network disruption in P23H rats. This work also suggests that safranal could be potentially useful to retard retinal degeneration in patients with retinitis pigmentosa.PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(8):e43074. · 4.09 Impact Factor