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Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances

Year: 2012  |  Volume: 11  |  Issue: 14  |  Page No.: 2373 - 2379

Inhibitory Effect of Crocin on Hepatic Steatosis in the Rats Fed with High Fat Diet

Daryoush Mohajeri and Mehrdad Nazeri


Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) is now recognized as the most common type of liver disease and might lead to an important public health problem. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the protective effects of Crocin, a unique water-soluble glycosylated carotenoid in the stigmas of the Crocus sativus Linne and in the fruits of Gardenia jasminoides Ellis, on rat high fat diet-induced hepatic steatosis model. Male Wistar rats were given either control diet, high fat diet alone or high fat diet plus Crocin via gavage at different doses (25, 50 and 100 mg/kg/day) for 4 weeks in different experimental groups. The serum levels of Triglyceride (TG), Total Cholesterol (TC), Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL-C), Very Low-Density Lipoprotein (VLDL-C) and High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL-C) were detected to determine deleterious metabolic effects. Aminotransferases, Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT) and Aspartate Aminotransferase (AST) were measured to determine hepatocyte injury. Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP) and bilirubin were measured to assess biliary function. Albumin was measured to reflect liver synthetic function. The lipid peroxidation product, Malondialdehyde (MDA) and reduced Glutathione (GSH) content was measured to assess free radical activity in the liver tissues. The enzymatic activities of Glutathione Peroxidase (GSH-Px), Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) and Catalase (CAT) were measured as indicators of antioxidation in liver tissue. Finally, the biochemical findings were matched with histopathological verifications. After 4 weeks, high fat diet caused deleterious metabolic effects including hypertriglyceridemia, hypercholesterolemia and liver dysfunction. Rats fed high fat diet alone showed increased activities of hepatocellular enzymes in plasma, significant decline in antioxidants and elevated lipid peroxidation indices in liver. Crocin treatment significantly reduced elevated markers of liver tissue injury and lipid peroxidation product (MDA) and brought back the liver antioxidants and the over accumulation lipids in serum towards normal. Histopathology of the liver confirmed the changes induced by high fat diet and the heptoprotective effect of Crocin. Crocin exerts protective effects against hepatic steatosis in rats fed with high fat diet possibly through its antioxidant actions.