The pathophysiologic relationship between vitamin K and glaucoma remains largely unknown. The aim of the study was to explore the effect of dietary vitamin K supplementation in a rat glaucoma model.
Rats were randomly divided into two groups: standard diet and high vitamin K1 (VitK1) diet (300 mg VitK1/kg diet). Induction of chronic ocular hypertension by episcleral vein cauterization was performed on the right eye. The left eye with sham operation served as controls. Rats received standard or high VitK1 diets for 5 weeks after surgery until the end of experiment. Immunohistochemistry analyses of the retina and trabecular meshwork were performed. The change in coagulation function and IOP were evaluated.
We observed a significant declined IOP at 2 weeks after surgery in the high VitK1 group compared with the control group. High VitK1 showed no significant effect on the body weight, rat phenotypes, or coagulation function. High VitK1 significantly inhibited the loss of retinal ganglion cells in the retina and increased the expression of matrix gla protein. High VitK1 also ameliorated the collapsed trabecular meshwork structure and increased collagen staining in the trabecular meshwork.
High VitK1 intake inhibited the loss of retinal ganglion cells during glaucomatous injury, probably by increasing the expression of matrix gla protein. A transient decrease in the IOP was observed in the high VitK1 group, implying a potential effect of VitK1 on aqueous outflow. Retinal ganglion cells protection by high VitK1 supplementation may be due to the IOP-lowering effects as well as neuroprotective effect. Further research is required to delineate these processes.