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Cell Stem Cell. 2014 Sep 4;15(3):326-339. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2014.06.007. Epub 2014 Jul 10.

Single-cell analysis reveals functionally distinct classes within the planarian stem cell compartment.

Author information

1
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, MIT Biology, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, 9 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA.
2
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, MIT Biology, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, 9 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA. Electronic address: reddien@wi.mit.edu.

Abstract

Planarians are flatworms capable of regenerating any missing body region. This capacity is mediated by neoblasts, a proliferative cell population that contains pluripotent stem cells. Although population-based studies have revealed many neoblast characteristics, whether functionally distinct classes exist within this population is unclear. Here, we used high-dimensional single-cell transcriptional profiling from over a thousand individual neoblasts to directly compare gene expression fingerprints during homeostasis and regeneration. We identified two prominent neoblast classes that we named ζ (zeta) and σ (sigma). Zeta-neoblasts encompass specified cells that give rise to an abundant postmitotic lineage, including epidermal cells, and are not required for regeneration. By contrast, sigma-neoblasts proliferate in response to injury, possess broad lineage capacity, and can give rise to zeta-neoblasts. These findings indicate that planarian neoblasts comprise two major and functionally distinct cellular compartments.

PMID:
25017721
PMCID:
PMC4171737
DOI:
10.1016/j.stem.2014.06.007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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