Propensity of crocin to offset Vipera russelli venom induced oxidative stress mediated neutrophil apoptosis: a biochemical insight.

PMID 25149285


Viper envenomation results in inflammation at the bitten site as well as target organs. Neutrophils and other polymorphonuclear leukocytes execute inflammation resolving mechanism and will undergo apoptosis after completing the task. However, the target specific toxins induce neutrophil apoptosis at the bitten site and in circulation prior to their function, thus reducing their number. Circulating activated neutrophils are major source of inflammatory cytokines and leakage of reactive oxygen species (ROS)/other toxic intermediates resulting in aggravation of inflammatory response at the bitten/target site. Therefore, neutralization of venom induced neutrophil apoptosis reduces inflammation besides increasing the functional neutrophil population. Therefore, the present study investigates the venom induced perturbances in isolated human neutrophils and its neutralization by crocin (Crocus sativus) a potent antioxidant carotenoid. Human neutrophils on treatment with venom resulted in altered ROS generation, intracellular Ca(2+) mobilization, mitochondrial membrane depolarization, cyt-c translocation, caspase activation, phosphatidylserine externalization and DNA damage. On the other hand significant protection against oxidative stress and apoptosis were evidenced in crocin pre-treated groups. In conclusion the viper venom induces neutrophil apoptosis and results in aggravation of inflammation and tissue damage. The present study demands the necessity of an auxiliary therapy in addition to antivenin therapy to treat secondary/overlooked complications of envenomation.

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Crocin, for microscopy