Pleiotrophin/heparin-binding growth-associated molecule (HB-GAM) is a specific ligand of protein tyrosine phosphatase zeta (PTPzeta)/receptor-like protein tyrosine phosphatase beta (RPTPbeta) expressed in the brain as a chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan. Pleiotrophin and PTPzeta isoforms are localized along the radial glial fibers, a scaffold for neuronal migration, suggesting that these molecules are involved in migratory processes of neurons during brain development. In this study, we examined the roles of pleiotrophin-PTPzeta interaction in the neuronal migration using cell migration assay systems with glass fibers and Boyden chambers. Pleiotrophin and poly-L-lysine coated on the substratums stimulated cell migration of cortical neurons, while laminin, fibronectin, and tenascin exerted almost no effect. Pleiotrophin-induced and poly-L-lysine-induced neuronal migrations showed significant differences in sensitivity to various molecules and reagents. Polyclonal antibodies against the extracellular domain of PTPzeta, PTPzeta-S, an extracellular secreted form of PTPzeta, and sodium vanadate, a protein tyrosine phosphatase inhibitor, added into the culture medium strongly suppressed specifically the pleiotrophin-induced neuronal migration. Furthermore, chondroitin sulfate C but not chondroitin sulfate A inhibited pleiotrophin-induced neuronal migration, in good accordance with our previous findings that chondroitin sulfate constitutes a part of the pleiotrophin-binding site of PTPzeta, and PTPzeta-pleiotrophin binding is inhibited by chondroitin sulfate C but not by chondroitin sulfate A. Immunocytochemical analysis indicated that the transmembrane forms of PTPzeta are expressed on the migrating neurons especially at the lamellipodia along the leading processes. These results suggest that PTPzeta is involved in the neuronal migration as a neuronal receptor of pleiotrophin distributed along radial glial fibers.