Salidroside Protects Human Erythrocytes against Hydrogen Peroxide-Induced Apoptosis

Erin Wei Qian, Daniel Tianfang Ge, and Siu-Kai Kong*
Programme of Biochemistry, School of Life Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong, People's Republic of China
J. Nat. Prod., Article ASAP
DOI: 10.1021/np200555s
Publication Date (Web): April 6, 2012
Copyright © 2012 The American Chemical Society and American Society of Pharmacognosy


Rhodiola rosea is a commonly used folk medicine for the treatment of high altitude sickness, mountain malhypoxia, and anoxia. Its active ingredient, salidroside [2-(4-hydroxyphenyl)ethyl β-d-glucopyranoside (1)], has been reported to have a broad spectrum of biological effects. However, the protective role of 1 in human erythrocytes remains unclear. This study therefore has investigated the effects of 1 on oxidative stress-induced apoptosis in human erythrocytes (also known as eryptosis or erythroptosis). Compound 1 increased cell survival significantly and prevented human erythrocytes from undergoing eryptosis/erythroptosis mediated by H2O2, as confirmed by the decreased expression of phosphatidylserine on the cell surface and reduced leakage of calcein through the damaged membrane. Mechanistically, 1 was found to exert its protective effects through its antioxidative activity and the inhibition of caspase-3 activation and stress-induced intracellular Ca2+ rise in a dose-dependent manner. Compound 1 is a protective agent in human erythrocytes against oxidative stress and may be a good adaptogen to enhance the body’s resistance to stress and fatigue.

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