Salidroside prevents PM2.5-induced BEAS-2B cell apoptosis via SIRT1-dependent regulation of ROS and mitochondrial function

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2022 Feb;231:113170. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2022.113170. Epub 2022 Jan 10.


PM2.5 is a harmful air pollutant currently threatening public health. It has been closely linked to increased morbidity of bronchial asthma and lung cancer worldwide. Salidroside (Sal), an active component extracted from Rhodiola rosea, has been reported to ameliorate the progression of asthma. However, there are few studies on the protective effect of salidroside on PM2.5-induced bronchial epithelial cell injury, and the related molecular mechanism is not clear. Here, we aimed to explore the protective effect and related mechanism of Sal on PM2.5 bronchial injury. We chose 50 μg/mL PM2.5 for 24 h as a PM2.5-induced cell damage model. After that BEAS-2B cells were pretreated with 40, 80, 160 µM Sal for 24 h and then exposed to 50 μg/mL PM2.5 for 24 h. We found that Sal pretreatment significantly inhibited the decrease of cell viability induced by PM2.5. Sal was effective in preventing PM2.5-induced apoptotic features, including Ca2+ overload, the cleavages of caspase 3, and the increases in levels of caspase 9 and Bcl-2-associated X protein (Bax), ultimately, Sal significantly inhibited PM2.5-induced apoptosis. Sal improved mitochondrial membrane potential, inhibited the release of cytochrome c from the mitochondria to cytoplasm. Sal alleviated ROS production, decreased the level of MDA, prevented the reduction of CAT, SOD and GSH-Px and increased the expression of NF-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), HO-1 and superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) in cells exposed to PM2.5. Furthermore, Sal improved the decrease of SIRT1 and PGC-1 α expression levels caused by PM2.5. In addition, inhibition of SIRT1 by EX527 (SIRT1 inhibitor) reversed the protective effects of Sal, including the decrease of ROS level, the increase of membrane potential level and the decrease of apoptosis level. Thus, Sal may be regarded as a potential drug to prevent PM2.5-induced apoptosis of bronchial epithelial cells and other diseases with similar pathological mechanisms.

Keywords: Apoptosis; MPP; PM2.5; ROS; SIRT1-PGC-1 α; Salidroside.

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis*
  • Glucosides
  • Mitochondria
  • Particulate Matter / toxicity
  • Phenols
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Sirtuin 1*


  • Glucosides
  • Particulate Matter
  • Phenols
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Sirtuin 1
  • rhodioloside