Molecular and cellular biochemistry

Crocin, a dietary additive protects platelets from oxidative stress-induced apoptosis and inhibits platelet aggregation.

PMID 23065381


Platelets are the key players in the development of cardiovascular diseases as the microparticles generated by apoptotic platelets and platelet aggregation contribute actively towards the disease propagation. Thus, the aim of this study was to demonstrate the effect of a phytochemical which can prevent these two processes and thereby project it as a cardio-protective compound. Crocin, a natural carotenoid exhibits a wide spectrum of therapeutic potentials through its antioxidant property. The study demonstrated its effects on cytoplasmic apoptotic events of mitochondrial pathway in platelets. Collagen/calcium ionophore-A23187 stimulated platelets were treated with crocin and endogenous generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)) were measured. H(2)O(2)-induced changes in crocin-pretreated platelets such as intracellular calcium, mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm), caspase activity, phosphatidylserine exposure and cytochrome c translocation were determined. Crocin dose-dependently ameliorated collagen- and A23187-induced endogenous generation of ROS and H(2)O(2). It also abolished the H(2)O(2)-induced events of intrinsic pathway of apoptosis. Further, it hindered collagen-induced platelet aggregation and adhesion. The current piece of work clearly suggests its anti-apoptotic effect as well as inhibitory effects on platelet aggregation. Thus, crocin can be deemed as a prospective candidate in the treatment regime of platelet-associated diseases.