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1- Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.
Background: ­The lack of social communication is associated with the premiere risk of brain functions. While it is reported that crocin is helpful for it. This study investigated the protective effect of two doses of crocin on hippocampal LTP in the CA1 area as a cellular mechanism in rats under chronic isolation stress.
 Methods: ­Rats were assigned into the control, sham, isolation stress, two stress groups receiving doses of 30 and 60­ mg/kg crocin. Chronic isolation stress­(CIS) was induced 6h/day and crocin administrated over a period of 21­days. The fEPSP slope and amplitude were measured in input/output functions and LTP induction in the CA1 area of the hippocampus. Also, the corticosterone and glucose levels were assayed in the hippocampus and frontal cortex.
Results: ­The slope and amplitude of fEPSP severity were impaired in both input/output and LTP responses by the CIS group. Whereas, crocin at dose of 30 and particularly 60 mg/kg improved them in the CIS group. Also, the corticosterone levels significantly increased in the frontal cortex and especially the hippocampus. Whereas, only a high dose of crocin was able to decrease hippocampal corticosterone levels in the CIS condition. Finally, the glucose levels did not alter in the hippocampus and frontal cortex in all experimental groups.
Conclusion:­ The chronic isolation stress impaired neural excitability and the intensity of long-term plasticity in the CA1 area due to elevated corticosterone in the hippocampus and probably the frontal cortex. Whereas, the low and high doses of crocin improved excitability and long-term plasticity in the chronic isolation stress group by only decreasing corticosterone levels in the hippocampus, but not the frontal cortex.
Type of Study: Original | Subject: Behavioral Neuroscience
Received: 2021/05/20 | Accepted: 2021/12/7

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