Suppression of polyps formation by saffron extract in Adenomatous polyposis coliMin/+ mic
Kyoko Fujimoto, Tomoe Ohta, Hitomi Yamaguchi, Nguyen Huu Tung, Gen Fujii, Michihiro Mutoh, Takuhiro Uto, Yukihiro Shoyama
Saffron (Crocus sativus L.) has been used both as a food additive for flavoring and coloring and in traditional medicine. Saffron extract and its main component crocin decrease the growth of several types of human cancer, including colorectal cancer in vitro. Numerous polyps develop in the small intestine in the Adenomatous polyposis coli (Apc) deficiency mice. ApcMin/+ mice are models for human familial adenomatous polyposis and human colon cancer patients. In this study, we examined the efficacy of saffron extract added to diet on reducing the polyp density in ApcMin/+ mice. ApcMin/+ mice were either given a placebo or saffron extract (0.1% and 0.5%) diet for 4 weeks. At 12 weeks of age, intestines were analyzed for polyp number in the small intestine. Our analysis confirmed that crocin (1), crocin-2 (2), and crocin-4 (4) are the major compounds in the saffron extract and the content of 1 in the tested saffron extract was 29.2%. Saffron extract decreased the number of intestinal polyps in a concentration-dependent manner in ApcMin/+ mice. Notably, the number of polyps in the distal small intestine of the mice fed with 0.5% saffron extract was significantly decreased compared with the placebo. These results indicate that saffron extract can reduce the polyp number in the ApcMin/+ mice. Abbreviations Used: FAP: Familial adenomatous polyposis; Apc: Adenomatous polyposis coli.