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Nephrology (Carlton). 2017 Oct;22(10):748-754. doi: 10.1111/nep.12849.

Anti-inflammatory and protective effects of saffron extract in ischaemia/reperfusion-induced acute kidney injury.

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Medical Biology Research Center, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran.
Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, Arak University of Medical Sciences, Arak, Iran.



Inflammation is one of the major challenges in the management of ischaemia/reperfusion (I/R)-induced acute kidney injury. Our aim was to assess the anti-inflammatory and protective effects of saffron extract against I/R-induced renal disturbances.


A total of 35 male Wistar rats were randomly divided into five groups (n = 7) as sham, I/R and three groups of I/R that were pretreated with different doses of saffron extract (5 mg/kg, 10 mg/kg, or 20 mg/kg) intraperitoneally. The I/R-induced renal inflammation was assessed by measuring leukocyte infiltration and mRNA expression levels of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 and tumour necrotic factor-alpha. For the assessment of oxidative stress, thiobarbituric acid reactive species and antioxidant capacity of kidneys were measured in the right kidneys. In addition, plasma creatinine and urea-nitrogen concentrations were determined for renal functional disturbances. Statistical analysis was performed using one-way analysis of variance using the Duncan post hoc test.


The I/R increased all of the measured parameters, except for the tissue level of ferric reducing/antioxidant power, which decreased. Pretreatment with saffron extract in all doses significantly reduced the severity of these disturbances in such a way that there were no significant differences between the FRAP level and urea-nitrogen concentrations between the sham and all three saffron extract-treated groups. However, the saffron extract could decrease the plasma creatinine concentration, malondialdehyde level, tumour necrotic factor-alpha and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 expression and leukocyte infiltration in a dose-dependent manner.


The present study showed anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative and protective effects for the hydro-ethanolic extract of saffron in I/R-induced acute kidney injury.


ICAM-1; TNF-α; inflammation; ischaemia/reperfusion; saffron

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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