Crocin attenuates cigarette smoke-induced lung injury and cardiac dysfunction by anti-oxidative effects: the role of Nrf2 antioxidant system in preventing oxidative stress

Mahin Dianat, Maryam Radan, Mohammad Badavi, Seyyed Ali Mard, Vahid Bayati, Masoumeh Ahmadizadeh
Respiratory Research 2018 April 10, 19 (1): 58

BACKGROUND: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has been emerging as a great health problem in world. Cigarette smoke is known to cause oxidative stress and deplete glutathione (GSH) levels. Nuclear erythroid-related factor 2 (Nrf2) is involved in transcriptional regulation of glutamate-cysteine ligase catalytic subunit (GCLc). Antioxidant compounds may be of therapeutic value in monitoring disease progression. Crocin demonstrates antioxidant and anti-inflammatory functions. The aim of this study was to investigate the protective role of crocin against CSE-mediated oxidative stress, inflammatory process, Nrf2 modifications and impairment of cardiac function in rats with COPD.

METHODS: Eighty rats were divided into four groups: Control, Cigarette smoke exposure (CSE), Crocin, Crocin+CS. Each group was divided into the two parts: 1) to evaluate lung inflammatory and oxidative process, 2) to evaluate the effect of Cigarette smoke induced-lung injuries on cardiac electrocardiogram (such as heart rate and QRS complex) and hemodynamic parameters (such as perfusion pressure and left ventricular developed pressure).

RESULTS: CSE rats showed a significant increase in cotinine concentration (17.24 ng/ml), and inflammatory parameters and a decrease in PO2 (75.87 mmHg) and expression of PKC (0.86 fold), PI3K (0.79 fold), MAPK (0.87 fold), Nrf2 (0.8 fold) and GCLc (0.75 fold) genes, antioxidant activity, and finally cardiac abnormalities in electrocardiogram and hemodynamic parameters. Co-treatment whit crocin could restore all these values to normal levels.

CONCLUSIONS: CS induced-COPD in rat model provides evidence that chronic CS exposure leads to lung injury and mediated cardiac dysfunction. Crocin co-treatment by modulating of Nrf2 pathway protected lung injury caused by COPD and its related cardiac dysfunction. In this study, we showed the importance of Nrf2 activators as a therapeutic target for the development of novel therapy for lung oxidative injuries.

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