Crocin and crocetin derivatives inhibit skin tumour promotion in mice

T. Konoshima, M. Takasaki, H. Tokuda, S. Morimoto, H. Tanaka, E. Kawata, L. J. Xuan, H. Saito, M. Sugiura, J. Molnar, Y. Shoyama

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The addition of 100 μg/mL of a 50% EtOH extract of Crocus sativus (ECS) exhibited significant inhibitory effects on EBV-EA activation and preserved the high viability of Raji cells. The attenuating effect of ECS was dose- dependent. The oral administration of ECS demonstrated an inhibitory effect on two-stage carcinogenesis of mouse skin papillomas, using DMBA as an initiator and TPA as a promoter. Crocetin gentiobiose glucose ester and crocetin di-glucose ester were less potent than crocin in inhibiting the EBV- EA induction effect. When crocin was applied before each TPA treatment, it delayed the formation of papillomas; only about 10% of mice bore papillomas at 9 weeks of promotion and after 13 weeks of promotion 20% of mice still bore no papilloma. The effect of crocin was not mimicked by gentiobiose or glucose alone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)400-404
Number of pages5
JournalPhytotherapy Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 1998


  • Crocin
  • Crocus sativus
  • EBV-EA induction
  • Mouse skin papilloma
  • Two-stage carcinogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

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    Konoshima, T., Takasaki, M., Tokuda, H., Morimoto, S., Tanaka, H., Kawata, E., Xuan, L. J., Saito, H., Sugiura, M., Molnar, J., & Shoyama, Y. (1998). Crocin and crocetin derivatives inhibit skin tumour promotion in mice. Phytotherapy Research, 12(6), 400-404.<400::AID-PTR321>3.0.CO;2-4