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Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) or vitamin K2 (menaquinone-4) induces intestinal alkaline phosphatase gene expression.

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Division of Nutrition, Department of Food and Nutrition, Faculty of Human Sciences and Design, Japan Women's University, Tokyo, Japan.


Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) hydrolyzes a variety of monophosphate esters into inorganic acid and alcohol at a high optimum pH (pH 8-10). Previously, we identified a significant increase of intestinal ALP (IAP) activity in the rat intestine on long-term dietary vitamin K supplementation. However, it was unclear whether the induction of ALP gene expression was caused by vitamin K intake. In the present study, we examined the effects of vitamin K on IAP gene expression. A total of 21 male ICR strain mice (7 wk old) were divided into three groups: control, PK, and MK groups. Mice were orally administered a 0.1-mL solution of physiological saline in the control group, phylloquinone (3 mg/kg mouse) in the PK group, and menaquinone-4 (3 mg/kg mouse) in the MK group. Four hours after administration, we determined the ALP activity of the intestinal mucosa in three areas (duodenum, jejunum, and ileum). In the MK groups, the levels of ALP activity in the jejunum increased significantly compared with the control. Moreover, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis using specific primers revealed that IAP mRNA expression was significantly enhanced in the jejunum in both PK and MK groups. Interestingly, vitamin K administration also increased the expression of pregnane X receptor mRNA. This is the first report concerning IAP mRNA expression induced by oral administration of vitamin K. The results support the possible involvement of vitamin K in the regulation of IAP mRNA expression as a novel pharmacological effect of vitamin K.

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