Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine, Tehran University of medical sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

3 Applied Biomedical Research Center, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran Division of Neurocognitive Sciences, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


Background: Adult hippocampal neurogenesis and synaptogenesis play a critical role in learning and memory. Crocin as a carotenoid has many neuroprotective effects but its effect on neurogenesis and synaptogenesis is unknown. In this study, the effects of crocin administration from post-lactation period to adulthood on the mice hippocampal neurogenesis and synaptogenesis were investigated.
Methods: 12 mice offspring were divided into 2 groups of control and crocin. Animals in the crocin group received 30 mg/kg of crocin from postnatal day 30 to 75 through drinking water. At the same time, the control group received drinking water without crocin. At the end of the treatment, animals were sacrificed and their brains were removed. The brains were sectioned and stained by immunohistochemical technique to evaluate the effect of crocin on hippocampal doublecortin (DCX) positive cells and synaptophysin expression.
Results: The results of the immunohistochemistry showed that the mean number of DCX+ cells in the dentate gyrus (DG) of the crocin group was significantly higher than that in the control group. In addition, the synaptophysin expression was higher in the cornu ammonis (CA) of the hippocampus in the crocin group.
Conclusion: According to the results, consumption of crocin from childhood to adulthood may increase hippocampal neurogenesis and synaptogenesis.


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