Research Article: Effect of Aqueous Extract of Crocus sativus L. on Morphine-Induced Memory Impairment

Date Published: October 10, 2012

Publisher: Hindawi Publishing Corporation

Author(s): Sayede Maryam Naghibi, Mahmoud Hosseini, Fatemeh Khani, Motahare Rahimi, Farzaneh Vafaee, Hassan Rakhshandeh, Azita Aghaie.

http://doi.org/10.1155/2012/494367

Abstract

In the present study, the effect of aqueous extracts of saffron on morphine-induced memory impairment was investigated. On the training trial, the mice received an electric shock when the animals were entered into the dark compartment. Twenty-four and forty-eight hours later, the time latency for entering the dark compartment was recorded and defined as the retention trial. The mice were divided into (1) control, (2) morphine which received morphine before the training in the passive avoidance test, (3–5) three groups treated by 50, 150 and 450 mg/kg of saffron extract before the training trial, and (6 and 7) the two other groups received 150 and 450 mg/kg of saffron extract before the retention trial. The time latency in morphine-treated group was lower than control (P < 0.01). Treatment of the animals by 150 and 450 mg/kg of saffron extract before the training trial increased the time latency at 24 and 48 hours after the training trial (P < 0.05 and P < 0.01). Administration of both 150 and 450 mg/kg doses of the extract before retention trials also increased the time latency (P < 0.01). The results revealed that the saffron extract attenuated morphine-induced memory impairment.

Partial Text

Crocus sativus L. is a plant with green and hairy leaves and funnel-shaped reddish-purple flowers, which is cultivated in some countries including China, Spain, Italy, Greece, and especially Iran. It is commonly known as saffron or “Zaaferan” in Iran and is added to food for its color and taste [1, 2]. The part used for medication is the central part of the flower or the female sexual organ which is also called stigma or style. The main active constituents of this plant are picrocrocin and its derivatives include safranal, flavonoid derivatives, and crocin [3]. Safranal is the main aromatic component of saffron which comprises about 60% of the volatile ingredients in saffron [4]. Crocus sativus is used in folk medicine as an antispasmodic, eupeptic, anticatarrhal, carminative, diaphoretic, expectorant, stimulant, stomachic, aphrodisiac, emmenagogue gingival, and sedative [3].

Experiment 1 In the morphine group, the time latency for entering the dark compartment was lower than that of the control group (Figure 1, P < 0.01). The treatment of the animals by 150 and 450 mg/kg of saffron extract significantly increased the time latency for entering the dark compartment Twenty-four and forty-eight h after receiving a shock (Figure 1, P < 0.05 and P < 0.01). Administration of 50 mg/kg of saffron extract was not effective for changing the time latency for entering the dark compartment. The results also showed that the total time spent in the dark compartment by the animals of the morphine group was higher than that of the saline group (Figure 2, P < 0.01). Twenty-four and forty-eight h after receiving the shock, the total time spent in the dark compartment by the animals of the pretrain 150 group was lower than that of the morphine group (Figure 2, both P < 0.01). The results also indicated that the total time spent in the light compartment by the animals of the morphine group was lower than that of the saline group at 24 and 48 h after receiving the shock (Figure 3, P < 0.05 and P < 0.01). In the pretrain 150 group, the total time spent in the light compartment was higher than that of the morphine group at 48 h after receiving the shock (Figure 3, P < 0.05). The results of the present study showed that saffron extract attenuated memory impairment induced by morphine. The results were in agreement with the results of previous studies showing the beneficial effects of saffron on memory [5, 26, 27]. Haghighizad et al. also suggested the protective effect of the saffron extract against morphine-induced inhibition of spatial learning and memory in rats. The used doses were lower than that in the present study [28]. It has been recently found that the alcoholic extract of the pistils of Crocus sativus L. affects learning and memory in mice [27]. In another study, oral administration of 125–500 mg/kg of Crocus sativus extract alone had no effect on the learning behavior of mice in passive avoidance test but significantly improved ethanol-induced impairment of memory acquisition [27]. It has been also shown that treatment of animals by 50–200 mg/kg crocin alone had no effect but significantly improved ethanol-induced impairment of memory acquisition in mice [5]. Intracerebroventricular administration of crocin significantly prevented from ethanol-induced inhibition of hippocampal LTP in anaesthetized rats in vivo [26, 29]. The results of the present study also showed that Crocus sativus extract inhibited of the deleterious effect morphine on memory. The results of the present study showed that the aqueous extract of Crocus sativus prevented from morphine induced memory deficits in mice. Further studies are needed to confirm this protective effect of Crocus sativus.   Source: http://doi.org/10.1155/2012/494367

 

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