The Cellular and Molecular Basis for Planarian Regeneration

Cell. 2018 Oct 4;175(2):327-345. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2018.09.021.


Regeneration is one of the great mysteries of biology. Planarians are flatworms capable of dramatic feats of regeneration, which have been studied for over 2 centuries. Recent findings identify key cellular and molecular principles underlying these feats. A stem cell population (neoblasts) generates new cells and is comprised of pluripotent stem cells (cNeoblasts) and fate-specified cells (specialized neoblasts). Positional information is constitutively active and harbored primarily in muscle, where it acts to guide stem cell-mediated tissue turnover and regeneration. I describe here a model in which positional information and stem cells combine to enable regeneration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Planarians / genetics
  • Planarians / physiology*
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / physiology
  • Regeneration / physiology*
  • Stem Cells / physiology