Cellular and molecular dissection of pluripotent adult somatic stem cells in planarians
Article first published online: 11 JAN 2010
© 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 Japanese Society of Developmental Biologists
Development, Growth & Differentiation
Special Issue: Comparative Aspects of Stem Cells
Volume 52, Issue 1, pages 27–41, January 2010
How to Cite
Shibata, N., Rouhana, L. and Agata, K. (2010), Cellular and molecular dissection of pluripotent adult somatic stem cells in planarians. Development, Growth & Differentiation, 52: 27–41. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-169X.2009.01155.x
- Issue published online: 11 JAN 2010
- Article first published online: 11 JAN 2010
- Received 21 August 2009; revised 12 November 2009; accepted 13 November 2009.
- adult somatic stem cell;
- germline-specific genes;
Freshwater planarians, Plathelminthes, have been an intriguing model animal of regeneration studies for more than 100 years. Their robust regenerative ability is one of asexual reproductive capacity, in which complete animals develop from tiny body fragments within a week. Pluripotent adult somatic stem cells, called neoblasts, assure this regenerative ability. Neoblasts give rise to not only all types of somatic cells, but also germline cells. During the last decade, several experimental techniques for the analysis of planarian neoblasts at the molecular level, such as in situ hybridization, RNAi and fluorescence activated cell sorting, have been established. Moreover, information about genes involved in maintenance and differentiation of neoblasts has been accumulated. One of the molecular features of neoblasts is the expression of many RNA regulators, which are involved in germline development in other animals, such as vasa and piwi family genes. In this review, we introduce physiological and molecular features of the neoblast, and discuss how germline genes regulate planarian neoblasts and what differences exist between neoblasts and germline cells.