Journal of Endocrinological Investigation

, Volume 29, Issue 6, pp 485–496 | Cite as

Mechanism delineating differential effect of an antiestrogen, tamoxifen, on the serum LH and FSH in adult male rats

  • N. Balasinor
  • P. Parte
  • M. K. Gill-Sharma
  • J. Kini
  • H. S. Juneja
Original Articles


Tamoxifen, a synthetic non-steroidal antiestrogen with residual estrogenic activity, administered to adult male rats reduces their fertility. A decrease in the circulating LH and testosterone levels with a transient rise or no change in circulating FSH levels was observed. The present study was carried out to delineate the mechanism causing the differential effect of tamoxifen on circulating gonadotropins by correlating it to changes in the hypothalamic LHRH, pituitary gonadotropins and testicular inhibin/activin. Hypothalamus, pituitary-hypothalamus complex (PHC) and intact pituitary (PI) from control and tamoxifen-treated male rats were superfused in vitro, and pulsatile release of LHRH by hypothalamus and that of LH and FSH by the PHC and PI were studied. Concomitantly, testicular immunoexpression of α and βB subunits of inhibin/activin were studied by immunohistochemistry and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA). At 0.4 mg/kg/day dose of tamoxifen a decrease in mean hypothalamic LHRH and LH pulse frequency from PHC construct was observed. FSH pulse frequency was not affected under the same experimental conditions. At the same dose of tamoxifen, testicular expression of both α and βB subunits of inhibin/activin was upregulated. The study demonstrated that reduced circulating LH levels were due to a decrease in hypothalamic LHRH concentration and in LH pulsatility following tamoxifen treatment. The lack of effect on circulating FSH under the same experimental conditions was likely due to its modulation by inhibin and activin.


Tamoxifen pulsatility superfusion gonadotropins inhibin/activin 


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Copyright information

© Italian Society of Endocrinology (SIE) 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NeuroendocrinologyNational Institute for Research in Reproductive HealthParelIndia

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