Age- and brain region-specific effects of dietary vitamin K on myelin sulfatides

J Nutr Biochem. 2010 Nov;21(11):1083-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2009.09.005. Epub 2010 Jan 25.


Dysregulation of myelin sulfatides is a risk factor for cognitive decline with age. Vitamin K is present in high concentrations in the brain and has been implicated in the regulation of sulfatide metabolism. Our objective was to investigate the age-related interrelation between dietary vitamin K and sulfatides in myelin fractions isolated from the brain regions of Fischer 344 male rats fed one of two dietary forms of vitamin K: phylloquinone or its hydrogenated form, 2',3'-dihydrophylloquinone (dK), for 28 days. Both dietary forms of vitamin K were converted to menaquinone-4 (MK-4) in the brain. The efficiency of dietary dK conversion to MK-4 compared to dietary phylloquinone was lower in the striatum and cortex, and was similar to that in the hippocampus. There were significant positive correlations between sulfatides and MK-4 in the hippocampus (phylloquinone-supplemented diet, 12 and 24 months; dK-supplemented diet, 12 months) and cortex (phylloquinone-supplemented diet, 12 and 24 months). No significant correlations were observed in the striatum. Furthermore, sulfatides in the hippocampus were significantly positively correlated with MK-4 in serum. This is the first attempt to establish and characterize a novel animal model that exploits the inability of dietary dK to convert to brain MK-4 to study the dietary effects of vitamin K on brain sulfatide in brain regions controlling motor and cognitive functions. Our findings suggest that this animal model may be useful for investigation of the effect of the dietary vitamin K on sulfatide metabolism, myelin structure and behavior functions.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Diet
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Male
  • Models, Animal
  • Myelin Sheath / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred F344
  • Sulfoglycosphingolipids / analysis
  • Sulfoglycosphingolipids / metabolism*
  • Vitamin K / administration & dosage*
  • Vitamin K / pharmacology*
  • Vitamin K 1 / analogs & derivatives
  • Vitamin K 1 / metabolism
  • Vitamin K 1 / pharmacology
  • Vitamin K 2 / analogs & derivatives
  • Vitamin K 2 / metabolism
  • Vitamin K 2 / pharmacology


  • Sulfoglycosphingolipids
  • dihydrophylloquinone
  • Vitamin K 2
  • Vitamin K
  • menatetrenone
  • Vitamin K 1