Tissue Concentrations of Vitamin K and Expression of Key Enzymes of Vitamin K Metabolism Are Influenced by Sex and Diet but Not Housing in C57BI6 Mice1–3

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Background:There has been limited characterization of biological variables that impact vitamin K metabolism. This gap in knowledge can limit the translation of data obtained from preclinical animal studies to future human studies.Objective:The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of diet, sex, and housing on serum, tissue, and fecal vitamin K concentrations and gene expression in C57BL6 mice during dietary vitamin K manipulation.Methods:C57BL6 4-mo-old male and female mice were randomly assigned to conventional or suspended-wire cages and fed control [1400 ± 80 μg phylloquinone (PK)/kg] or deficient (31 ± 0.45 μg PK/kg) diets for 28 d in a factorial design. PK and menaquinone (MK) 4 plasma and tissue concentrations were measured by HPLC. Long-chain MKs were measured in all matrices by LC-atmospheric pressure chemical ionization-mass spectrometry. Gene expression was quantified by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction in the liver, brain, kidney, pancreas, and adipose tissue.Results:Male and female mice responded differently to dietary manipulation in a tissue-dependent manner. In mice fed the control diet, females had ˜3-fold more MK4 in the brain and mesenteric adipose tissue than did males and 100% greater PK concentrations in the liver, kidney, and mesenteric adipose tissue than did males. In mice fed the deficient diet, kidney MK4 concentrations were ˜4-fold greater in females than in males, and there were no differences in other tissues. Males and females differed in the expression of vitamin K expoxide reductase complex 1 (Vkorc1) in mesenteric adipose tissue and the pancreas and ubiA domain-containing protein 1 (Ubiad1) in the kidney and brain. There was no effect of housing on serum, tissue, or fecal concentrations of any vitamin K form.Conclusions:Vitamin K concentrations and expression of key metabolic enzymes differ between male and female mice and in response to the dietary PK concentration. Identifying factors that may impact study design and outcomes of interest is critical to optimize study parameters examining vitamin K metabolism in animal models.

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