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Comp Biochem Physiol B Biochem Mol Biol. 2007 Oct;148(2):174-83. Epub 2007 May 29.

Vitamin K deficiency inhibits mineralization and enhances deformity in vertebrae of haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus L.).

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  • 1Institute for Marine Biosciences, National Research Council Canada, 1411 Oxford Street, Halifax, NS, Canada B3H 3Z1.


Vitamin K has been known to regulate bone formation through osteocalcin synthesis by osteoblasts, which is important for mineralization and bone structure. The mechanism underlying the relationship of vitamin K with the changes of microanatomy is not fully understood, and our goal is to test whether bone deformities develop in association with vitamin K deficiency. Fish were fed a semi-purified diet containing either devoid (0.00 mg/kg diet) or adequate (40.0 mg/kg diet supplemented but 20.8 mg/kg analyzed) levels of vitamin K (menadione sodium bisulphite) for 20 weeks. At the end of 8 and 20 weeks, fish were subjected to gross examination and X-ray, and mineral content of the vertebrae was measured. The vertebrae were also subjected to histological, histomorphometric and enzyme histochemical examinations to determine the bone formation and resorption. Vitamin K deficiency primarily decreased bone mineralization and subsequently a decrease in bone mass thus resulted in an increased susceptibility to bone deformity. The occurrence of bone deformities coincided with an increased amount of osteoid tissue and decreased bone mineral content. Number of osteoblasts and osteoclasts were not affected by dietary vitamin K. In conclusion, vitamin K deficiency can impair bone mineralization and enhances bone deformities.

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