Tyrosine phosphorylation plays a central role in the control of neuronal cell development and function. Yet, few neuronal protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs) have been identified. We examined rat olfactory neuroepithelium for expression of novel PTPs potentially important in neuronal development and regeneration. Using the polymerase chain reaction with degenerate DNA oligomers directed to the conserved tyrosine phosphatase domain, we identified 6 novel tyrosine phosphatases. One of these, PTP NE-3, is a receptor-type PTP expressed selectively in both rat brain and olfactory neuroepithelium. In the olfactory neuroepithelium, PTP NE-3 expression is restricted to neurons and describes a novel pattern of expression with a high level in the immature neurons and a lower level in mature olfactory sensory neurons.