Background: Salidroside is a glucoside of tyrosol found mostly in the roots of Rhodiola spp. It exhibits
diverse biological and pharmacological properties. In the last decade, enormous research is conducted to explore the
medicinal properties of salidroside; this research reported many activities like anti-cancer, anti-oxidant, anti-aging,
anti-diabetic, anti-depressant, anti-hyperlipidemic, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, etc.
Objective: Despite its multiple pharmacological effects, a comprehensive review detailing its metabolism and
therapeutic activities is still missing. This review aims to provide an overview of the metabolism of salidroside, its
role in alleviating different metabolic disorders, diseases and its molecular interaction with the target molecules in
different conditions. This review mostly concentrates on the metabolism, biological activities and molecular
pathways related to various pharmacological activities of salidroside.
Conclusion: Salidroside is produced by a three-step pathway in the plants with tyrosol as an intermediate molecule.
The molecule is biotransformed into many metabolites through phase I and II pathways. These metabolites, together
with a certain amount of salidroside may be responsible for various pharmacological functions. The salidroside based
inhibition of PI3k/AKT, JAK/ STAT, and MEK/ERK pathways and activation of apoptosis and autophagy are the
major reasons for its anti-cancer activity. AMPK pathway modulation plays a significant role in its anti-diabetic
activity. The neuroprotective activity was linked with decreased oxidative stress and increased antioxidant enzymes,
Nrf2/HO-1 pathways, decreased inflammation through suppression of NF-κB pathway and PI3K/AKT pathways.
These scientific findings will pave the way to clinically translate the use of salidroside as a multi-functional drug for
various diseases and disorders in the near future.