Background & Objective: Crocetin, an active ingredient of saffron, has been recognized as
a potent antioxidant. Plant extracts or their components may be useful in ameliorating the various
diseases, including neurodegenerative disorders. This study investigated the effects of crocetin on
oxidative damage induced by chronic restraint stress in the rat brain. For this reason, rats were kept in
the restrainers for 1 hour every day, for 21 consecutive days. The animals were injected crocetin (20,
40, 60 mg/kg) or vehicle daily for 21 days. Findings showed that the immobility time significantly increased
in the rodents subjected to the chronic stress compared with the normal group. However, the
number of crossing beams in the rats submitted to the chronic stress significantly decreased versus the
non-stress rats. Treatment with crocetin ameliorated the immobility time and the number of crossing in
the chronic restraint stress rats versus the non-treated stress group. Crocetin also reverted the levels of
MDA and GSH and also the activities of antioxidant enzymes to the normal levels in the stress groups.
Conclusion: The present study suggests that crocetin may be useful for the management of depressantlike
effects induced by chronic stress through decreasing oxidative damage in the brain.