2003 Volume 49 Issue 4 Pages 256-261
Vitamin K2 (menaquinone) acts on the bone metabolism. Menatetrenon (MK-4) is a vitamin K2 homologue that has been used as a therapeutic agent for osteoporosis in Japan. Rat models of immobilization induced by sciatic neurectomy are characterized by transiently increased bone resorption and sustained reduction in bone formation. Using such a rat model, we investigated the efficacy of MK-4 on bone loss. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to unilateral sciatic neurectomy and administered MK-4 for 28 d beginning day 21 after operation. The effect of MK-4 on the immobilized bone was assessed by measuring the bone mineral density of the femur, breaking force of the femoral diaphysis, and bone histomorphometry in tibial diaphysis. The BMD on both the femoral distal metaphysis and diaphysis was reduced by sciatic neurectomy. The administration of MK-4 ameliorated this reduction in a dose-dependent manner. The administration of 30mg/kg MK-4 ameliorated the reduction in bone strength. An improvement in bone formation was observed following the administration of MK-4. These results suggest that MK-4 has a therapeutic potential for immobilization-induced osteopenia.