Seyed H. Hashemi-Shahri, Alireza Golshan, Seyed A. Mohajeri, Javad Baharara, Elaheh Amini, Farzaneh Salek, Amirhossein Sahebkar and Zahra Tayarani-Najaran* Pages 1064 - 1069 ( 6 )
Background: Crocus sativus (Iridaceae) has been traditionally used in the Iranian folk medicine and as a culinary additive. Major components of the plant that are responsible for biological properties are saffranal, crocin, picrocrocin and crocetin. Although the level of crocetin is not high, some of the important activities of saffron such as antioxidant activity have been attributed to crocetin.
Objective: In the present study, we investigated the effects of crocetin on melanogenesis in B16 melanoma cells.
Methods: The effect of crocetin on intracellular and mushroom tyrosinase activity and the content of melanin was evaluated spectrophotometrically. Tyrosinase and Microphthalmia-Associated Transcription Factor (MITF) protein levels were compared between Crocetin-treated and control cells after western blot analysis. The antioxidative activity of crocetin was also investigated.
Results: Crocetin could inhibit mushroom tyrosinase activity and lower the amount of melanin in B16 melanoma cells. Protein levels of tyrosinase and MITF were also decreased by crocetin. Crocetin also showed antioxidant activity and depleted cellular Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) content but had no cytotoxicity in alamarBlue® assay.
Conclusion: Taken together, decreased tyrosinase activity, melanin content, tyrosinase and MITF proteins levels, and ROS production showed the inhibition of melanogenesis in B16F10 cells by crocetin. Hence, crocetin could be suggested as a potential dermatological whitening agent in skin care products.
Crocus sativus, crocetin, Iridaceae, anti- tyrosinase, melanogenesis, B16F10 murine melanoma cells.
Medical Toxicology Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Research Center of Natural Products Safety and Medicinal Plants, North Khorasan University of Medical Sciences, Bojnurd, Pharmaceutical Research Center, Pharmaceutical Technology Institute, School of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Department of Biology, Research Center for Applied Biology, Mashhad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Mashhad, Department of Animal Biology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Research Center for Applied Biology, Mashhad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Mashhad, Biotechnology Research Center, Pharmaceutical Technology Institute, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Medical Toxicology Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad