Effects of crocin analogs on ocular blood flow and retinal function

J Ocul Pharmacol Ther. 1999 Apr;15(2):143-52. doi: 10.1089/jop.1999.15.143.


Ischemic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration are the leading ocular diseases that cause blindness. The etiology of these diseases is due in part to the reduction of blood flow in the retina and/or choroid. Crocin analogs isolated from Crocus sativus L. were found to significantly increase the blood flow in the retina and choroid and to facilitate retinal function recovery. Increased blood flow due to vasodilation presumably improves oxygenation and nutrient supply of retinal structures. These results indicated that crocin analogs could be used to treat ischemic retinopathy and/or age-related macular degeneration. It was noted that disaccharide analogs of crocin, such as crocin-1 and crocin-2, were less potent than monosaccharide analogs of crocin, such as crocin-3 and crocin-4, constituting an interesting structure-activity relationship.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carotenoids / pharmacology*
  • Eye / blood supply*
  • Female
  • Ischemia / drug therapy
  • Macular Degeneration / drug therapy
  • Rabbits
  • Rats
  • Rats, Long-Evans
  • Regional Blood Flow / drug effects
  • Retina / drug effects*
  • Retina / physiology


  • Carotenoids
  • crocin