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PLoS One. 2012;7(8):e43074. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0043074. Epub 2012 Aug 10.

Safranal, a saffron constituent, attenuates retinal degeneration in P23H rats.

Author information

1
Department of Physiology, Genetics and Microbiology, University of Alicante, Alicante, Spain.

Abstract

Saffron, an extract from Crocus sativus, has been largely used in traditional medicine for its antiapoptotic and anticarcinogenic properties. In this work, we investigate the effects of safranal, a component of saffron stigmas, in attenuating retinal degeneration in the P23H rat model of autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa. We demonstrate that administration of safranal to homozygous P23H line-3 rats preserves both photoreceptor morphology and number. Electroretinographic recordings showed higher a- and b-wave amplitudes under both photopic and scotopic conditions in safranal-treated versus non-treated animals. Furthermore, the capillary network in safranal-treated animals was preserved, unlike that found in untreated animals. Our findings indicate that dietary supplementation with safranal slows photoreceptor cell degeneration and ameliorates the loss of retinal function and vascular network disruption in P23H rats. This work also suggests that safranal could be potentially useful to retard retinal degeneration in patients with retinitis pigmentosa.

PMID:
22900092
PMCID:
PMC3416780
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0043074
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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