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Abstract Title:

Immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory potential of crocin in COVID-19 treatment.

Abstract Source:

J Food Biochem. 2021 Apr 4:e13718. Epub 2021 Apr 4. PMID: 33817822

Abstract Author(s):

Morteza Ghasemnejad-Berenji

Article Affiliation:

Morteza Ghasemnejad-Berenji

Abstract:

The current COVID-19 pandemic is one of the most devastating events in recent history. In the lack of a specific treatment and vaccine for this novel infection, finding effective drugs against this infection is crucial. We suggest the hypothesis that crocin, the main carotenoid of saffron, has the potential to limit the progression and severity of the SARS-CoV2 infection for several reasons: (a) crocin possesses powerful antioxidant properties, (b) crocin can alleviate the uncontrolled cytokine production responsible for acute lung injury, (c) crocin can upregulate PPARγ and downregulate NF-κB expression which leads to a wide range of immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory effects, and (d) crocin can reduce the viral-induced oxidative stress and downregulates ACE2 expression by activating Nrf2 pathway. We hope our hypothesis, corroborated by preclinical evidence, will inspire further targeted studies to test crocin as a beneficial drug against the SARS-CoV2 infection. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: Crocin is a natural antioxidant and the main active carotenoid components of saffron. We suggest the hypothesis that crocin has the potential to limit the progressionand severity of the SARS-CoV2 infection because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Furthermore, this compound may prevent viral entry to host cells and reduce SARS-CoV2-induced lung injury. Therefore, we suggest further clinical studies on the effects of crocin against SARS-Cov-2 infection.

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