To identify molecules that regulate Schwann cell migration, we have generated a panel of monoclonal antibodies against Schwann cell surface antigens that modulate Schwann cell migration in in vitro bioassays. One of these antibodies, SMRA1, recognizes a 26 kDa Schwann cell surface membrane protein identified here as CD9. SMRA1 enhances Schwann cell migration on two biologically relevant substrates: living axons of cultured dorsal root ganglion neurons, and cryostat sections of sciatic nerve. This CD9-induced regulation of Schwann cell motility is correlated with a rise in cytosolic calcium and enhanced tyrosine phosphorylation of several Schwann cell proteins. These results, together with the findings of Hadjiargyrou and Patterson (1994), implicate CD9 as an important regulator of Schwann cell behavior in peripheral nerve.