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Am J Pathol. 2012 Nov;181(5):1518-23. doi: 10.1016/j.ajpath.2012.07.011. Epub 2012 Aug 31.

Accelerated axonal loss following acute CNS demyelination in mice lacking protein tyrosine phosphatase receptor type Z.

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Wellcome Trust and MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.


Protein tyrosine phosphatase receptor type Z (Ptprz) is widely expressed in the mammalian central nervous system and has been suggested to regulate oligodendrocyte survival and differentiation. We investigated the role of Ptprz in oligodendrocyte remyelination after acute, toxin-induced demyelination in Ptprz null mice. We found neither obvious impairment in the recruitment of oligodendrocyte precursor cells, astrocytes, or reactive microglia/macrophage to lesions nor a failure for oligodendrocyte precursor cells to differentiate and remyelinate axons at the lesions. However, we observed an unexpected increase in the number of dystrophic axons by 3 days after demyelination, followed by prominent Wallerian degeneration by 21 days in the Ptprz-deficient mice. Moreover, quantitative gait analysis revealed a deficit of locomotor behavior in the mutant mice, suggesting increased vulnerability to axonal injury. We propose that Ptprz is necessary to maintain central nervous system axonal integrity in a demyelinating environment and may be an important target of axonal protection in inflammatory demyelinating diseases, such as multiple sclerosis and periventricular leukomalacia.

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