Hepatoprotective effect of Crocus sativus (saffron) petals extract against acetaminophen toxicity in male Wistar rats

Avicenna J Phytomed. 2014 Sep;4(5):330-6.


Objectives: Acetaminophen (APAP) toxicity is known to be common and potentially fatal. This study aims to investigate the protective effects of hydroalcoholic extract, remaining from Crocus sativus petals (CSP) against APAP-induced hepatotoxicity by measuring the blood parameters and studying the histopathology of liver in male rats.

Materials and methods: Wister rats (24) were randomly assigned into four groups including: I) healthy, receiving normal saline; II) Intoxicated, receiving only APAP (600 mg/kg); III) pre-treated with low dose of CSP (10 mg /kg) and receiving APAP (600 mg/kg); IV) pre-treated with high dose of CSP (20 mg/kg) and receiving APAP (600 mg/kg).

Results: The APAP treatment resulted in higher levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and bilirubin, along with lower total protein and albumin concentration than the control group. The administration of CSP with a dose of 20 mg/kg was found to result in lower levels of AST, ALT and bilirubin, with a significant higher concentration of total protein and albumin. The histopathological results regarding liver pathology, revealed sever conditions including cell swelling, severe inflammation and necrosis in APAP-exposed rats, which was quiet contrasting compared to the control group. The pre-treated rats with low doses of ‍CSP showed hydropic degeneration with mild necrosis in centrilobular areas of the liver, while the same subjects with high doses of ‍CSP appeared to have only mild hepatocyte degeneration.

Conclusions: Doses of 20 mg/kg of CSP ameliorates APAP-induced acute liver injury in rats. It was concluded that the antioxidant property of CSP resulted in reducing the oxidative stress complications of toxic levels of APAP in intoxicated rats.

Keywords: Acetaminophen(APAP); Crocus sativus (CS); Flowers; Hepatotoxicity; Rats.