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Table 4 The bioactivity evaluation results of saffron water extract, including the NRF2, neuraminidase, lipid droplets, anti-inflammatory, antiallergic activity, anti-influenza and anti-enterovirus activity

From: Bio-guided bioactive profiling and HPLC-DAD fingerprinting of Ukrainian saffron (Crocus sativus stigmas): moving from correlation toward causation

Sample Relative NRF2 activitya in HacaT cellb
(%, mean ± SD)
Relative NRF2 activitya in Huh7 cellb
(%, mean ± SD)
Neuraminidase inhibition activityc
(%, mean ± SD)
Lipid droplet inhibition activityd
(%, mean ± SD)
Superoxide anion generation, human neutrophilse (%, mean ± SEM) Elastase release, human neutrophilse (%, mean ± SEM) A23187-induced degranulation assay, RBL-2H3 cellsf (%, mean ± SD) Antigen-induced degranulation assay, RBL-2H3 cellsf (%, mean ± SD) Protective activity against influenza H1N1, MDCK cellsg Protective activity against enterovirus 68, RD cellsg
Saffron stigmas (extr. H2O) 172.8 132.1 41.0 ± 5.8 108.7 ± 14.3 9.0 ± 1.9** 5.8 ± 1.3* 5.0 ± 4.6 20.3 ± 4.2 inactive inactive
TBHQh 684.3 ± 53.3
Luteolini 23.8 ± 0.3
Zanamivirj 96.8 ± 0.2
TCk 9.1 ± 0.8
  1. aRelative luciferase activity (NRF2) was calculated by normalizing luciferase activity to cell viability and presented as the fold to solvent control. Saffron stigmas 100 μg/mL
  2. bHacaT, a normal skin cell line. Huh7, a liver cancer cell line
  3. cNeuraminidase inhibition assay. Saffron stigmas 100 μg/mL
  4. dLipid droplet count, the average LD counts/cell of OA were used as a standard for 100% of fatty loading in the Huh7 cell line. Saffron stigmas 100 μg/mL
  5. eResults are presented as mean ± SEM (n = 3) compared with the control (fMLF/CB), *P < 0.05 and **P < 0.01. Genistein served as the positive control and inhibited 99.7%
  6. of superoxide anion generation at 10 μg/mL and 101.2 of elastase release at 30 μg/mL [23]. Saffron stigmas 10 μg/mL
  7. fThe cytotoxicity of the sample was evaluated by MTT assay (95.0 ± 8.7%). Inhibition of β-hexosaminidase release was evaluated and the results are presented as mean ± SD (n = 3) compared to the untreated control (DMSO). Dexamethasone (10 nM) was used as a positive control and inhibited 65.7 and 66.3% of A23187- and antigen-induced β-hexosaminidase release, respectively [23] Saffron stigmas 100 μg/mL
  8. gThe protective effects were evaluated based on the viability of cells infected by the virus. Saffron stigmas 50 μg/mL. Inactive, no significant inhibition
  9. hTBHQ, 2-(1,1-dimethylethyl)-1,4-benzenediol, was used as positive control for Nrf2 activation. Drug concentration is 10 μM
  10. iLuteolin, was used as a negative control for Nrf2 activation. The drug concentration is 50 μM
  11. jZanamivir, was used as a positive control for neuraminidase inhibition. The drug concentration is 1 μM
  12. kTC, Triacsin C, is an inhibitor of long fatty acyl CoA synthetase and was used as a positive control for lipid droplet inhibition. The drug concentration is 1 μM