Specialized Progenitors and Regeneration

Development. 2013 Mar;140(5):951-7. doi: 10.1242/dev.080499.


Planarians are flatworms capable of regenerating all body parts. Planarian regeneration requires neoblasts, a population of dividing cells that has been studied for over a century. Neoblast progeny generate new cells of blastemas, which are the regenerative outgrowths at wounds. If the neoblasts comprise a uniform population of cells during regeneration (e.g. they are all uncommitted and pluripotent), then specialization of new cell types should occur in multipotent, non-dividing neoblast progeny cells. By contrast, recent data indicate that some neoblasts express lineage-specific transcription factors during regeneration and in uninjured animals. These observations raise the possibility that an important early step in planarian regeneration is the specialization of neoblasts to produce specified rather than naïve blastema cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Organ Specificity / genetics
  • Organ Specificity / physiology
  • Planarians / cytology
  • Planarians / genetics
  • Planarians / metabolism
  • Planarians / physiology
  • Regeneration / genetics
  • Regeneration / physiology*
  • Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Wound Healing / genetics
  • Wound Healing / physiology