International Urology and Nephrology

, Volume 47, Issue 9, pp 1463–1469 | Cite as

Tamoxifen is a potent antioxidant modulator for sperm quality in patients with idiopathic oligoasthenospermia

  • Li Guo
  • Jun Jing
  • Yu-Ming Feng
  • Bing YaoEmail author
Urology - Original Paper



To explore the new mechanisms of tamoxifen (TAM) in the treatment for patients with idiopathic oligoasthenospermia—antioxidation.


In a prospective, randomized, controlled clinical trial, 120 cases of idiopathic oligoasthenospermia were enrolled and randomly assigned to the indomethacin group (n = 60) treated with indomethacin (25 mg, bid) and TAM group (n = 60) treated with TAM (10 mg, bid) for 3 months. Before and after treatment, we evaluated semen parameters, serum malondialdehyde (MDA) and total antioxidant capacity (TAC), seminal plasma MDA and TAC, spermatozoa intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), sperm succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) activity, sperm mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), and sperm adenosine triphosphate (ATP) content. The independent t test and one-way repeated measures analysis of variance were used to compare the variables between and within two groups.


In the indomethacin group, the percentage of progressive motile sperms, total motility, sperm MMP, and ATP content were increased significantly after 3-month treatment (P < 0.05). In the TAM group, total sperm count, sperm concentration, the percentage of progressive motile sperms, total motility, serum and seminal plasma TAC, sperm MMP, and ATP content were significantly improved or increased (P < 0.05), while spermatozoa intracellular ROS was significantly decreased (P < 0.05). Compared to the indomethacin group, TAM treatment showed better improvement in total sperm count, sperm concentration, serum TAC, seminal plasma TAC, spermatozoa intracellular ROS, and sperm SDH activity.


TAM treatment can significantly improve sperm quality, which is achieved through alleviating oxidative stress, improving sperm mitochondrial functionality, and subsequently increasing sperm motility.


Tamoxifen Indomethacin Antioxidation Idiopathic oligoasthenospermia Sperm quality 







Total antioxidant capacity


Reactive oxygen species


Succinate dehydrogenase


Mitochondrial membrane potential


Adenosine triphosphate


Luteinizing hormone


Follicle-stimulating hormone


Thiobarbituric acid





The authors thank all the participants for their enthusiastic cooperation, which made this study clinically and scientifically relevant.


This study was funded by the State Key Development Program for Basic Research of China (Grant No. 2013CB945200).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest


Ethical approval

All procedures performed in this study involving human participants were in accordance with the Ethical Standards of the Institutional and/or National Research Committee and with the Declaration of Helsinki 1964 and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Reproduction Medicine Center, Nanjing Jinling Hospital, Nanjing School of Clinical MedicineSouthern Medical UniversityNanjingChina

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