Endocrine Abstracts (2006) 11 P658

Endothelin-1 levels in men of reproductive age with idiopathic hypogonadism after treatment with tamoxifen or raloxifene

M Tzoitou1, E Papadopoulou1, A Papageorgiou1, M Kita1, V Zournatzi2, A Kourtis2, A Avramidis1 & D Panidis2


1Endocrinology Clinic, Hippocratio Hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece; 2Division of Endocrinology and Human Reproduction, Thessaloniki, Greece.


An association between testicular function and vasoconstrictive peptide endothelin-1 levels, which is produced by Leydig and Sertoli cells, is observed. Endothelin –1 regulates blood flow in the testis and stimulates testosterone secretion.

The purpose of this study is (1) to estimate the influence of tamoxifene and raloxifene therapy on enthothelin-1 levels in men of reproductive age with idiopathic hypogonadism. (2) To find an association between improvement of semen parameters and changes of peptide levels during therapy.

Materials and methods: Forty men (40) with idiopathic hypogonadism were studied. Group 1 consisted of twenty (20) men aged 35±4.4 yrs who received tamoxifen therapy (20 mg/day for three months). Group 2 consisted of twenty (20) men aged 34.1±4.3 yrs who received raloxifene therapy (60 mg/day for three months). Endothelin-1 levels were measured before and three months after initiation of therapy. All patients had a semen analysis at the same times.

Results: 1 Tamoxifene therapy improved morphology and movement of spermatozoa significantly whereas raloxifene therapy improved the number and morphology of spermatozoa. 2) Endothelin-1 levels didn’t differ significantly between the two groups before therapy (58.6±27.4 pg/ml vs 46.7±25.4 pg/ml respectively) 3) Tamoxifene increased levels of endothelin-1 but not significantly(58.6±27.9 pg/ml vs 76.3±26.2 pg/ml). 4) Raloxifene did not alter endothelin-1 levels (46.7±25.4 pg/ml vs 46.9±28.2 pg/ml). 5) After three months of therapy, endothelin-1 levels were higher in men in group 1 than the ones in group 2. 6) No association was found between enthothelin-1 levels and semen parameteres before and three months after therapy.

Conclusions: The present study shows that tamoxifene tends to increase endothelin-1 levels and this action is not observed after raloxifene therapy. Furthermore, small changes in endothelin-1 levels are not associated with improvement of semen parameters after therapy with either of the two medications (tamoxifene and raloxifene).

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