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Proceedings of the Japan Academy, Series B
Vol. 71 (1995) No. 10 P 319-324



The acute effects of crocin and picrocrocin, major components of Crocus Sativus L., on learning and memory performances were investigated using mice in passive avoidance tasks. A single oral administration of crocin had no effect on memory acquisition in normal mice. Oral administration of 30% ethanol (10ml/kg) induced impairment of memory acquisition in step through and step down tests. Oral pre-administration of crocin (50 to 200mg/kg) improved the impairment of memory acquisition in both tests in a dose-dependent manner. Crocin (50 to 200mg/kg) also had beneficial effect on 40% ethanol (10mg/kg, p.o.)-induced memory retrieval deficit in step down test. Picrocrocin, the most abundant component in Crocus Sativus L., did not affect the impairment of memory acquisition and retrieval in step through and step down tests at 50-200mg/kg. These results suggest that crocin has preventive effect on the ethanol-induced impairment of learning and memory.

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