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Keywords:

  • diabetes mellitus;
  • neonatal rat;
  • saffron carotenoid;
  • HOMA-IR;
  • HbA1c;
  • AGE;
  • HDL-c;
  • LDL-c;
  • triglyceride

Crocin is the only water soluble carotenoid in nature, and it has a known powerful antioxidant activity. The aim of this work was to investigate the hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects of crocin in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced type 2 diabetic rats. Neonatal male Wistar rats (2–5 days old) were randomly divided into five groups. Three groups were intraperitoneally injected with STZ (90 mg/kg body weight). Among them, two groups were treated with intraperitoneal injection of crocin (50 or 100 mg/kg), and the third group was treated with vehicle only. Two control groups were also considered, and one of them was treated with crocin. After 5 months, their blood and urine samples were collected, and the animals were sacrified. The results indicate a significant lower body weight (P < 0.001) and abnormal parameters in the diabetic rats compared with the normal group. An administration of both doses of crocin significantly decreased the levels of serum glucose, advanced glycation end products, triglyceride, total cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein and increased the high-density lipoprotein in the diabetic rats. The treatments were also effective in decreasing HbA1c and microalbuminuria, as well as homeostatic model assessment for insulin resistance as a measure of insulin resistance in the diabetic rats. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.