Understanding molecular mechanisms of Rhodiola rosea for the treatment of acute mountain sickness through computational approaches (a STROBE-compliant article)

Medicine (Baltimore). 2018 Sep;97(39):e11886. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000011886.


Rhodiola rosea has been used in the treatment of acute mountain sickness (AMS) for a long time, but the mechanism of its action is not still completely clear. In this paper, the therapeutic mechanism of R rosea for AMS was investigated by analysis of the relationship between R rosea compositions and hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1) degradation pathway.System biology and network biology, computational approaches were used to explore the molecular mechanisms of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).Our results showed that chemical compositions of R rosea could inhibit the targets of HIF-1 degradation pathway in multi-composition/multi-target ways.We conclude that the 18 components with more than 2 targets and 5 targets (arrest-defective-1 [ARD1], forkhead transcription factor [FOXO4], osteosarcoma-9 [OS-9], prolyl hydroxylase 2 [PHD2], human double minute 2 [Hdm2]) deserve to be noticed, and PHD2, receptor for activated C-kinase1 (RACK1) and spermidine/spermine-N1-acetyltransferase-1 (SSAT1) may be the targets of active ingredients of rhodionin, rhodiosin, and rhodiolatuntoside, respectively.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Altitude Sickness / drug therapy*
  • Altitude Sickness / metabolism
  • Computer Simulation
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1, alpha Subunit / metabolism
  • Medicine, Chinese Traditional / methods
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Rhodiola / chemistry
  • Rhodiola / drug effects*


  • Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1, alpha Subunit
  • Plant Extracts