Planarian brain regeneration as a model system for developmental neurotoxicology

Regeneration (Oxf). 2016 Mar 15;3(2):65-77. doi: 10.1002/reg2.52. eCollection 2016 Apr.


Freshwater planarians, famous for their regenerative prowess, have long been recognized as a valuable in vivo animal model to study the effects of chemical exposure. In this review, we summarize the current techniques and tools used in the literature to assess toxicity in the planarian system. We focus on the planarian's particular amenability for neurotoxicology and neuroregeneration studies, owing to the planarian's unique ability to regenerate a centralized nervous system. Zooming in from the organismal to the molecular level, we show that planarians offer a repertoire of morphological and behavioral readouts while also being amenable to mechanistic studies of compound toxicity. Finally, we discuss the open challenges and opportunities for planarian brain regeneration to become an important model system for modern toxicology.

Keywords: Behavior; neurodevelopment; planarians; regeneration; toxicology.

Publication types

  • Review