Molecular Biology Reports

, Volume 46, Issue 6, pp 5777–5783 | Cite as

Protective effects of vitamin K2 on 6-OHDA-induced apoptosis in PC12 cells through modulation bax and caspase-3 activation

  • Elham Ramazani
  • Masoud Fereidoni
  • Zahra Tayarani-NajaranEmail author
Original Article


Neuroprotection using compounds with dual functions of anti-apoptotic and antioxidant effects fight against neurodegeneration. Vitamin K2 acts as a cofactor in many biochemical pathways, including sphingolipid synthesis in the nervous system, which is involved in many cellular events, including proliferation, differentiation, cellular communication, and alteration. This study aimed to investigate the protective effects of vitamin K2 in PC12 cells as an in vitro model of Parkinson’s disease. The protective effects of vitamin K2 against 6-OHDA-induced apoptosis in PC12 cells were assessed using resazurin for viability, DCF-DA for ROS level, DTNB for glutathione level, flow cytometry for sub G1, and western blot analysis for detecting bax and pro-caspase-3 expression level. The results showed that 6-OHDA significantly decreased cell viability, glutathione and pro-caspase-3 levels, and increased ROS, the amount of bax in PC12 cells, while the pretreatment with 5 μM vitamin K2 significantly decreased the cell death induced by 6-OHDA. Generally, the results may present a new insight about the potential protective action of vitamin K2 against the progression of Parkinson’s disease. Further studies may warrant the use of vitamin K2 as an antioxidant and anti-apoptotic agent in slowing nerve injury in neurodegenerative disease, particularly in Parkinson’s disease.


Vitamin K2 Parkinson’s disease Apoptosis 6-OHDA PC12 


Vit K2

Vitamin K2


Reactive oxygen species






Parkinson’s disease


Nerve growth factor


2′, 7′-Dichlorofluorescin diacetate


5-5′-Dithiobis (2-nitrobenzoic acid)


Propidium iodide


Nuclear factor κB


One-way analysis of variance


Inducible nitric oxide synthase


Reactive nitrogen species



This work was supported by Grant No. 3/42877 from the Ferdowsi university of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran and Grant No. 951667 from the Research Affairs of Mashhad University of Medical Sciences. The authors wish to thank Mr. Malaeke for reading the flow cytometry samples.

Author contributions

ER performed the experiments and wrote the manuscript. MF and ZTN conceived, designed, and supervised the project, wrote the manuscript and provided financial support.


This work has been supported by Grant No. 3/42877 from the Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran and Grant No. 951667 from the Research Affairs of Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

There is no conflict of interest in this study.

Ethical approval

As this work is carried out in PC12 cells, there is no need for ethical clearance.

Research involving human and animal rights

Human/animals subjects were not used in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biology, Faculty of ScienceFerdowsi University of MashhadMashhadIran
  2. 2.Biotechnology Research Center, Pharmaceutical Technology InstituteMashhad University of Medical SciencesMashhadIran
  3. 3.Medical Toxicology Research CenterMashhad University of Medical SciencesMashhadIran

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