Autotaxin (NPP-2) in the brain: Cell type-specific expression and regulation during development and after neurotrauma

N. E. Savaskan, L. Rocha, M. R. Kotter, A. Baer, G. Lubec, L. A. Van Meeteren, Y. Kishi, J. Aoki, W. H. Moolenaar, R. Nitsch, A. U. Bräuer

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87 Citations (Scopus)


Autotaxin is a secreted cell motility-stimulating exo-phosphodiesterase with lysophospholipase D activity that generates bioactive lysophosphatidic acid. Lysophosphatidic acid has been implicated in various neural cell functions such as neurite remodeling, demyelination, survival and inhibition of axon growth. Here, we report on the in vivo expression of autotaxin in the brain during development and following neurotrauma. We found that autotaxin is expressed in the proliferating subventricular and choroid plexus epithelium during embryonic development. After birth, autotaxin is mainly found in white matter areas in the central nervous system. In the adult brain, autotaxin is solely expressed in leptomeningeal cells and oligodendrocyte precursor cells. Following neurotrauma, autotaxin is strongly up-regulated in reactive astrocytes adjacent to the lesion. The present study revealed the cellular distribution of autotaxin in the developing and lesioned brain and implies a function of autotaxin in oligodendrocyte precursor cells and brain injuries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-243
Number of pages14
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Jan
Externally publishedYes


  • Axonal growth and regeneration
  • Brain development
  • G protein-coupled receptors
  • Hippocampus
  • LPA signaling
  • Myelination
  • Oligodendrocyte precursor cells
  • S1P

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology


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