Evaluation of apoptotic effect of crocin, cisplatin, and their combination in human oral squamous cell carcinoma cell line HN5
Article Type:
Research/Original Article (دارای رتبه معتبر)

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the most common oral malignancy with high rate of mortality. Cisplatin, as the most effective chemotherapy drug, has side effects. Considering the studies on the use of crocin in saffron in the treatment of various malignancies, this study aimed at investigating the effects of crocin and cisplatin and their combination on SCC and fibroblast cell lines.

Materials and Methods

In this interventional study, HN5 and fibroblast cell lines were treated with different concentrations of crocin (12.5–50 µg/mL) and cisplatin (2, 4, 8, 16, and 32 µg/mL), and the cells were counted after 24, 48, and 72 h by 3‑(4,5‑dimethylthiazol‑2‑yl)‑2,5‑diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay. Data were analyzed with SPSS Version 17, and P < 0.05 was considered the level of significance. In the final stage, flow cytometry after 24 h in terms of the pattern of cell death was done.


Both drugs had a toxic effect on malignant cells. One point was the high toxic effect of 8 μg/mL cisplatin not only on cancer cells (P < 0.001) but also on fibroblasts. However, combination with 12.5 μg/mL of crocin had the same effect on HN5 cell line, despite the less toxic effect in fibroblasts in comparison with cisplatin alone (P = 0.012). Apoptosis was the pattern of cell death showed by flow cytometry.


Crocin in high concentrations can have not only significant toxicity in cancer cells but also side effects in healthy tissue. It seems that lower doses of crocin, in combination with cisplatin, besides having anticancer effect, can reduce the toxicity of cisplatin in healthy tissue.

Dental Research Journal, Volume:18 Issue: 7, Aug 2021
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