The protective effects of saffron stigma alcoholic extract against vincristine sulfate drug-induced renal toxicity in rat

Document Type: Research Paper


1 Chemical Injuries Research Center, System biology and poisonings institute, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Exercise Physiology Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Science, Tehran, Iran

3 Chemical Injuries Research Center, System Biology and Poisonings Institute, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran



Introduction: Vincristine (VCR) is potential anti-cancer drug that is highly toxic for renal tissue. This study aimed to evaluate the protective effect of alcoholic extract of saffron stigma against vincristine renal toxicity in male rats.

Methods: A total number of 50 rats were randomly divided into 10 groups. Different doses of VCR (0.25, 0.5 and 0.75mg/kg) and saffron (0.5 and 1mg/kg) were used to treat vincristine-induced renal toxicity in rats. Serum level of renal biomarkers, creatinine (Cr), uric acid and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) were measured using specific kits at the end of the experimental period. Serum total antioxidant capacity (TAC) and malondialdehyde (MDA) values were measured using Ferric reducing antioxidant of power (FRAP) and Thiobarbituric acid reaction (TBAR) methods, respectively.

Results: Administration of VCR to the experimental rats caused severe renal injury with significant increase in the levels of creatinine (Cr), uric acid and blood urea nitrogen (BUN). VCR administration (at concentration of 0.75mg/kg) also significantly increased the mean level of MDA (0.51±0.021 nmol/ml; p<0.001), while TAC value was declined significantly (243.17±16.24 μmol/l; p<0.001). These effects were dose-dependently. Treatment with saffron extract decreased the level of Cr, BUN, and MDA values in VCR-exposed rats with a significant enhancement in serum TAC content. This effect was notable for rats that received 1mg/kg plant extract.

Conclusion: Administration of saffron, especially at higher concentration, can reduce VCR-induced renal toxicity, total antioxidant depletion and lipid peroxidation, possibly due to its antioxidative properties.