Receptor protein tyrosine phosphatase sigma inhibits axonal regeneration and the rate of axon extension

Mol Cell Neurosci. 2003 Aug;23(4):681-92. doi: 10.1016/s1044-7431(03)00120-9.


Transgenic mice lacking receptor protein tyrosine phophatase-sigma (RPTPsigma), a type IIa receptor protein tyrosine phosphatase, exhibit severe neural developmental deficits. Continued expression of RPTPsigma in the adult suggests that it plays a functional role in the mature nervous system. To determine if RPTPsigma might influence axonal regeneration, the time course of regeneration following facial nerve crush in wild-type and RPTPsigma (-/-) mice was compared. Mice lacking RPTPsigma exhibited an accelerated rate of functional recovery. Immunocytochemical examination of wild-type neurons in cell culture showed RPTPsigma protein in the growth cone. To determine if RPTPsigma affects the ability of a neuron to extend an axon, the rate of axon growth in neuronal cultures derived from wild-type and RPTPsigma (-/-) embryonic mice was compared. RPTPsigma did not affect the rate of axon initiation, but the rate of axon extension is enhanced in neurons obtained from RPTPsigma (-/-) mice. These findings indicate that RPTPsigma slows axon growth via a mechanism intrinsic to the neuron and identify a role for RPTPsigma regulating axonal regeneration by motoneurons.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Binding Sites / genetics
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics
  • Central Nervous System / cytology
  • Central Nervous System / enzymology*
  • Central Nervous System / growth & development*
  • Facial Nerve / cytology
  • Facial Nerve / growth & development
  • Facial Nerve / metabolism
  • Growth Cones / enzymology*
  • Growth Cones / ultrastructure
  • Growth Substances / genetics
  • Growth Substances / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Motor Neurons / cytology
  • Motor Neurons / metabolism
  • Nerve Regeneration / genetics*
  • Neuronal Plasticity / genetics
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases / deficiency*
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases / genetics
  • Receptor-Like Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases, Class 2


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Growth Substances
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases
  • Ptprs protein, mouse
  • Receptor-Like Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases, Class 2