Stimulatory effect of menaquinone-7 (vitamin K2) on osteoblastic bone formation in vitro

Mol Cell Biochem. 2001 Jul;223(1-2):131-7. doi: 10.1023/a:1017930931736.


Menaquinone-7, which is vitamin K2 (menatetrenone) with seven isoprene units, is highly contained in the fermented soybean. The effect of menaquinone-7 (MK-7) on osteoblastic bone formation was investigated. Femoral-diaphyseal and metaphyseal tissues of young male rats (4 weeks old) were cultured for 48 h in a medium containing either vehicle or MK-7 (10(-7)-10(-5) M). Calcium content, alkaline phosphatase activity, and deoxyribonuclic acid (DNA) content in the diaphyseal and metaphyseal tissues was significantly increased in the presence of MK-7 (10(-6) and 10(-5) M). The effect of MK-7 in increasing the diaphyseal and metaphyseal calcium content and alkaline phosphatase activity was completely prevented in the presence of cycloheximide (10(-6) M), an inhibitor of protein synthesis. Moreover, osteoblastic MC3T3-E1 cells after subculture were cultured for 24 h in a serum-free medium containing MK-7 (10(-7)-10(-5) M). Protein content, alkaline phophatase activity, osteocalcin and DNA content in the cells was significantly increased in the presence of MK-7 (10(-6) and 10(-5) M). The effect of MK-7 in increasing protein content, alkaline phosphatase activity, and osteocalcin production in the cells was completely blocked by cycloheximide. This study demonstrates that MK-7 has an anabolic effect on bone tissue and osteoblastic MC3T3-E1 cells in vitro, suggesting that the compound can stimulate osteoblastic bone formation.

MeSH terms

  • Alkaline Phosphatase / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Cell Line
  • Culture Media, Serum-Free
  • Culture Techniques
  • Cycloheximide / pharmacology
  • DNA / metabolism
  • Male
  • Osteoblasts / drug effects*
  • Osteoblasts / metabolism
  • Osteogenesis / drug effects*
  • Osteogenesis / physiology
  • Protein Synthesis Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Proteins / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Vitamin K 2 / analogs & derivatives*
  • Vitamin K 2 / pharmacology*


  • Culture Media, Serum-Free
  • Protein Synthesis Inhibitors
  • Proteins
  • Vitamin K 2
  • menaquinone 7
  • DNA
  • Cycloheximide
  • Alkaline Phosphatase
  • Calcium