Distribution of vitamin K2 in subchondral bone in osteoarthritic knee joints

Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2013 Aug;21(8):1813-8. doi: 10.1007/s00167-012-2239-4. Epub 2012 Oct 16.


Purpose: Vitamin K may have multiple effects on articular cartilage and subchondral bone that could modulate the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis (OA). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the distribution of vitamin K2 in harvested bones obtained during total knee arthroplasty in knee OA patients.

Methods: High-performance liquid chromatography was used to measure vitamin K2 in harvested bones obtained during 58 TKA procedures. Vitamin K2 levels were analysed in the medial (FM) and lateral (FL) femoral condyles and in the medial (TM) and lateral (TL) tibial condyles.

Results: There was significantly more vitamin K2 in the lateral femoral and tibial condyles than in the corresponding medial condyles (FL vs. FM, p < 0.0001; TL vs. TM, p < 0.0001). There was significantly more vitamin K2 in the FL than in the TL (p = 0.003), and in the FM, vitamin K2 levels were higher than those of the TM, although this was not significant (n.s.). There were no significant differences in vitamin K2 levels in men versus women nor was there a significant correlation with age.

Conclusions: This study suggested that vitamin K2 might affect bone turnover since medial condyles showing advanced OA had lower vitamin K2 levels, while lateral condyles showing less advanced OA contained more vitamin K2. Gender and age were not correlated with vitamin K2 localization. All cases had Grade IV OA, and this study suggested that OA grade might be important in controlling the vitamin K2 levels in human bones.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee
  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Female
  • Femur / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / classification
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / metabolism*
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / surgery
  • Tibia / metabolism*
  • Vitamin K 2 / metabolism*


  • Vitamin K 2