Safranal as a safe compound to mice immune system

Document Type : Original Research Article


1 Medical Toxicology Research Center, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 Medical Toxicology Research Center and Pharmacy School, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

3 Cancer Research Center, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


Objectives: The aim of the present study was to investigate immunotoxic effect of safranal (SAF), a main component of Crocus sativus essential oil, using Balb/c mice.
Materials and Methods: SAF was administered intraperitoneally at doses of 0.1, 0.5 and 1 ml/kg for 3 weeks. Hystopathological examination of spleen and bone marrow, cellularity of spleen, delayed type of hypersensitivity (DTH) response, hemagglutination titer (HA), cytokine production and lymphocyte proliferation assay were studied in various groups of animals.
Results: Spleen cellularity for SAF groups (0.1 ml/kg SAF: 6.68 [± 0.88] × 107, 0.5 ml/kg SAF: 8.16 [± 1.33] × 107, 1 ml/kg SAF: 6.12 [± 0.59] × 107) did not significantly differ as compared to vehicle control (8.52 [± 1.36] × 107; p > 0.05). In addition, SAF at all doses could not produce any significant changes in hematological parameters, HA titer, DTH and lymphoproliferation responses, as well as in release of cytokines by isolated splenocytes (p > 0.05). Despite a few studies demonstrating some immunomodulatory effects for saffron extract, SAF as a major constituent of saffron did not induce any marked effects in immune system parameters of mice.
Conclusion: Contrary to the toxicological studies which have indicated that SAF is more toxic than other active constituents in saffron stigma, at least it was found to be safe to mice immune system and has no toxicity on humoral and cellular immune responses.


Main Subjects

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