Effect of Stigmas of Crocus sativus L. (saffron) on Cell Mediated and Humoral Immunity
Crocus sativus stigmas (saffron) are most commonly used as spice, coloring, and flavoring agent in the preparation of various foods. The effect of saffron on the cell mediated immune system was evaluated by using different experimental animal models such as carbon clearance test; cyclophosphamide induced neutropenia, neutrophil adhesion test, whereas humoral mediated immunity was analysed by its effect on serum immunoglobulins, mice lethality test, and indirect hemagglutination test. Saffron was orally administered as suspension at doses of 50 and 100 mg/kg; Ocimum sanctum L. extract (100 mg/kg p.o) was used as a reference drug. Saffron significantly increased the level of serum immunoglobulins and circulating antibody titre, prevented the mortality in mice when challenged with lethal Pasteurella multocida toxin suggesting an increase in overall humoral mediated immunity. Also, there was a significant increase in the neutrophil adhesion to nylon fibers. Saffron was not effective in preventing cyclophosphamide-induced neutropenia. However in carbon clearance test, only the low dose was effective in producing a significant increase in the phagocytic index with the high dose failing to do so. The results from the present investigation indicate that C. sativus at low doses posses humoral and cell mediated immunity, thus substantiating its traditional claim as a potential immunostimulant and as an anticancer agent.
Keywords: Crocus sativus, cell mediated, humoral immunity, phagocytic index, serum immunoglobulins, Anticancer agent, Saffron, Antibody, Mice, Suspension
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