Assessment of Saffron Neuroprotective Properties in Rat Retina versus Light Damage

Document Type: Original paper


1 Proteomics Research Center, Faculty of Paramedical Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

2 Laser Application in Medical Sciences Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

3 Traditional Medicine and Materia Medica Research Center and Department of Traditional Pharmacy, School of Traditional Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

4 Gastroenterology and Liver Diseases Research Center, Research Institute for Gastroenterology and Liver Diseases, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

5 Firoozabadi Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

6 Proteomics Research Center, Department of Emergency Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.



Background and objectives: Crocus sativus L. (Iridaceae) commonly known as saffron, is a popular spice which is used for its pleasant aroma and favored color. Regarding the previous reports about the neuroprotective behavior of saffron or its constituents, in the present work, the neuroprotective property of saffron in rat retina was investigated against light damage in a system biology study. Methods: Retina gene profiles of 4 groups (each group including 3 samples) of rats (control; C light damage; L, Saffron; S, and saffron-light damage; SL) which are included in GSE22818 were extracted from Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO).  The significant differentially expressed genes (DEGs) from C-L groups analysis which are not included in S-SL comparison were screened by pathway analysis to find the critical protected genes against light damage by saffron. Results: Numbers of 46 gene were protected by saffron versus light damage significantly. The findings revealed that Casp3, Myd88, Birc3, Tnfrsf1a, Myc, Nfkb2, Fgf2 were the important protected genes by saffron against light damage. “MAPK signaling pathway” and “apoptosis” were highlighted as important related pathways for 46 DEGs. Conclusion: Saffron protects a part of light damage which is controlled mostly by Casp3, Myd88, Birc3, Tnfrsf1a, Myc, Nfkb2, Fgf2. It seems other parts of damage should be studied in more details to find a complete prospective of molecular mechanism of light damage effect on retina.  


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