Investigation of the Anxiolytic Effects of Crocin, a Compound from Saffron

Investigation of the Anxiolytic Effects of Crocin, a Compound from Saffron

Bibliography

Name: Ryan W. Chicoine

Rank: CPT

Presenter/Poster: Podium and Poster

Year: 2018

Abstract

Introduction:
Anxiety and depression are debilitating and costly psychological disorders. Patients with anxiety and depression often seek complementary and alternative medicine, including herbal supplements like crocin, a compound found in Saffron (Crocus sativus L.). Data is limited concerning the pharmacological effects of crocin or its potential interactions with other medications. The purposes of this study were to determine the anxiolytic and/or antidepressant effects of crocin and its possible activity on the benzodiazepine site on the γ-aminobutyric acid GABAA receptor.
Methods:
Utilizing a prospective, between subjects group design, 55 male Sprague Dawley rats were randomly assigned to one of five groups: vehicle dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), crocin, midazolam, flumazenil + crocin, and midazolam + crocin. Behavioral analyses were conducted 30 minutes after intraperitoneal injection using the Elevated Plus Maze (EPM), followed by the Forced Swim Test (FST). Data were analyzed using two tailed multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) and a least significant difference (LSD) post hoc tests.
Results:
In the EPM when comparing mean speed, the crocin group was significantly increased compared to the midazolam + crocin group and midazolam group was significantly decreased compared to the crocin, flumazenil + crocin, and vehicle groups. Additionally, the flumazenil + crocin group was significantly increased compared to the midazolam + crocin group. When comparing the mean time mobile, the crocin group was significantly increased compared to the midazolam group. When comparing open arm time ratio, the midazolam group was significantly increased compared to all other groups. In the FST when comparing mean time mobile, the midazolam + crocin group was significantly increased compared to the crocin, vehicle, and midazolam groups.
Conclusion:
The results of this study, compared to other studies, demonstrated differences in the anxiolytic and anti-depressant effects of crocin. Data from the EPM, suggest that crocin may attenuate the anxiolytic effects of midazolam, while sparing psychomotor activity. Additionally, crocin showed a possible drug-drug interaction with midazolam, leading to a significant decrease in behavioral despair during during the FST. Further studies should continue to investigate crocin's effects at various receptor sites.
Implications for Military Nursing: It is important to find potential alternatives for anxiety and depression.