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Crocus sativus by-products as sources of bioactive extracts: Pharmacological and toxicological focus on anthers

Chichiriccò, Giuseppe, Ferrante, Claudio, Menghini, Luigi, Recinella, Lucia, Leone, Sheila, Chiavaroli, Annalisa, Brunetti, Luigi, Di Simone, Simonetta, Ronci, Maurizio, Piccone, Pierpaolo, Lanza, Barbara, Cesa, Stefania, Poma, Annamaria, Vecchiotti, Giulia, Orlando, Giustino
Food and chemical toxicology 2019 v.126 pp. 7-14
Artemia, Crocus sativus, anthers, antioxidant activity, bioactive compounds, byproducts, cell lines, cell movement, chemical constituents of plants, cytotoxicity, fatty acid composition, lipopolysaccharides, long chain fatty acids, malondialdehyde, mutagens, nitrites, protective effect, rats, reactive oxygen species, saffron, tissue repair, toxicology
Multiple studies revealed the potential application of high quality saffron byproducts as cheap sources of bioactive compounds endowed with antioxidant activity. In the present study, we analyzed the total fatty acids of the anthers, and explored the pharmacological and toxicological potential of anthers, by evaluating genotoxic and protective effects in multiple cell lines, brine shrimps and isolated rat tissues.The phytochemical analyses showed that anthers are rich in long chain fatty acids most of which are unsaturated (80.51%). Particularly, anther water extract revealed to be well tolerated by multiple cell lines, and able to modulate reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, without exerting either genotoxic or cytotoxic effects. The same extract was also able to blunt lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced nitrite and malondialdehyde (MDA) in isolated rat tissues. On the other hand, considering the concomitant null effect on HCT116 cell migration, in wound healing experimental paradigm, our findings suggest the efficacy of water anther extract as protective agent without any direct reverting effects on lesioned tissues.Concluding, the promising results, deriving from the pharmacological and toxicological evaluations, support the valorization of saffron anthers as a strategy to optimize and develop the productive chain of Abruzzo saffron.