The TAM receptor TYRO3 is a critical regulator of myelin thickness in the central nervous system Academic Article uri icon


  • Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune, demyelinating disease of the central nervous system (CNS). Major deficits arise in MS patients due to an inability to repair damaged myelin sheaths following CNS insult, resulting in prolonged axonal exposure and neurodegeneration. The TAM receptors (Tyro3, Axl, and Mertk) have been implicated in MS susceptibility, demyelination and remyelination. Previously, we have shown that Tyro3 regulates developmental myelination and myelin thickness within the optic nerve and rostral region of the corpus callosum (CC) of adult mice. In this study we have verified and extended our previous findings via a comprehensive analysis of axonal ensheathment and myelin thickness in the CC of unchallenged mice, following demyelination and during myelin repair. We show that the loss of the Tyro3 receptor correlates with significantly thinner myelin sheaths in both unchallenged mice and during remyelination, particularly in larger caliber axons. The hypomyelinated phenotype observed in the absence of Tyro3 occurs independently of any influence upon oligodendrocyte precursor cell (OPC) maturation, or density of oligodendrocytes (OLs) or microglia. Rather, the primary effect of Tyro3 is upon the radial expansion of myelin. The loss of Tyro3 leads to a reduction in the number of myelin lamellae on axons, and is therefore most likely a key component of the regulatory mechanism by which oligodendrocytes match myelin production to axonal diameter.


  • Blades, F
  • Aprico, A
  • Akkermann, R
  • Ellis, Sarah
  • Binder, MD
  • Kilpatrick, TJ

publication date

  • 2018

published in