Background In Nigerian traditional medicine, Rauwolfia vomitoria has been reported to be useful in the management of various human diseases, but there is no relevant information to substantiate its involvement in managing diseases arising from vascular dysfunction and oxidative stress. However, this study sought to investigate the antioxidant property of R. vomitoria and its effect on phophodiesterase-5 activity in vitro. Methods The antioxidant property was assessed through ferric-reducing antioxidant power (FRAP), copper chelation, and ABTS radical-scavenging activity. In addition, the effect of R. vomitoria on phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5) activity was assessed in vitro. Furthermore, analysis of phenolic compounds present in R. vomitoria was carried out using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Results The findings in this study revealed that R. vomitoria inhibited PDE-5 in a dose-dependent manner (IC50 = 252.42 μg/mL). Furthermore, the antioxidant activity of R. vomitoria was established through FRAP (19.68 mg AAE/g), ABTS radical-scavenging ability (74.25 mmol TEAC/g), and Cu2+-chelating ability (IC50 = 0.13 mg/mL). Conclusions The antioxidant property of R. vomitoria and its inhibitory effect on PDE-5 could be useful in the management of diseases arising from vascular dysfunction and oxidative stress.
Keywords: Rauwolfia vomitoria; antioxidant; oxidative stress; phosphodiesterase-5.