Metabolic Brain Disease

, Volume 34, Issue 5, pp 1341–1353 | Cite as

Prophylactic neuroprotective propensity of Crocin, a carotenoid against rotenone induced neurotoxicity in mice: behavioural and biochemical evidence

  • Sriranjini Venkata RaoEmail author
  • P. Hemalatha
  • S. Yetish
  • M. Muralidhara
  • Padmanabhan S. Rajini
Original Article


Previously we have demonstrated the potential neuroprotective propensity of saffron and Crocin (CR) employing a Drosophila model of Parkinsonism. Rotenone (ROT) has been extensively used as a model neurotoxin to induce Parkinson’s disease (PD) like symptoms in mice. In the present study, as a proof of concept we evaluated the efficacy of CR prophylaxis (25 mg/ kg bw/d, 7d) to attenuate ROT(0.5 mg/Kg bw/d,7d) -induced neurotoxic effects in male mice focussing on neurobehavioural assessments and biochemical determinants in the striatum. CR prophylaxis significantly alleviated ROT-induced behavioural alterations such as increased anxiety, diminished exploratory behaviour, decreased motor co-ordination, and grip strength. Concomitantly, we evidenced diminution of oxidative stress markers, enhanced levels of antioxidant enzyme and mitochondrial enzyme function in the striatal region. Further, varying degree of restoration of cholinergic function, dopamine and α-synuclein levels were discernible suggesting the possible mechanism/s of action of CR in this model. Based on our earlier data in flies and in worm model, we propose its use as an adjuvant therapeutic agent in oxidative stress-mediated neurodegenerative conditions such as PD.


Crocin Neuroprotection Rotenone Parkinson’s disease Neurotoxicity 



The authors sincerely thank the Director, CSIR-CFTRI for his encouragement. The first author thanks the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), New Delhi, for the award of Senior Research Fellowship.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryMysuruIndia
  2. 2.Food Protectants and Infestation Control DepartmentCSIR-Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI)MysuruIndia

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