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Salidroside is proven to be a neuroprotective agent of natural origin, and its analog, 2-(4-Methoxyphenyl)ethyl-2-acetamido-2-deoxy-β-D-pyranoside (named SalA-4 g), has been synthesized in our lab. In this study, we showed that SalA-4 g promoted neuronal survival and inhibited neuronal apoptosis in primary hippocampal neurons exposed to oxygen and glucose deprivation (OGD) and in rats subjected to ischemia by transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO), respectively, and that SalA-4 g was more neuroprotective than salidroside. We further found that SalA-4 g elevated glucose uptake in OGD-injured primary hippocampal neurons and increased the expression and recruitment of glucose transporter 3 (GLUT3) in ischemic brain. Signaling analysis revealed that SalA-4 g triggered the phosphorylation of CREB, and increased the expression of PKA RII in primary hippocampal neurons exposed to OGD injury, while inhibition of PKA/CREB by H-89 alleviated the elevation in glucose uptake and GLUT3 expression, and blocked the protective effects of SalA-4 g. Moreover, SalA-4 g was noted to inhibit intracellular Ca2 + influx and calpain1 activation in OGD-injured primary hippocampal neurons. Our results suggest that SalA-4 g neuroprotection might be mediated by increased glucose uptake and elevated GLUT3 expression through calpain1/PKA/CREB pathway.A salidroside (Sal) analog (SalA-4 g) is prepared to be more neuroprotective than Sal.SalA-4 g protected hippocampal neurons from oxygen and glucose deprivation insult.SalA-4 g reduced ischemic injury after transient middle cerebral artery occlusion in rats.Neuroprotection of SalA-4 g was mediated by GLUT3 level via calpain/PKA/CREB pathway.