Send to

Choose Destination
Trends Cell Biol. 2015 Nov;25(11):687-696. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2015.07.008. Epub 2015 Oct 1.

Types or States? Cellular Dynamics and Regenerative Potential.

Author information

Stowers Institute for Medical Research, 1000 E. 50th Street, Kansas City, MO 64110, USA; Current address: Department of Molecular Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA. Electronic address:
Stowers Institute for Medical Research, 1000 E. 50th Street, Kansas City, MO 64110, USA; Howard Hughes Medical Institute, 4000 Jones Bridge Road, Chevy Chase, MD 20815-6789, USA. Electronic address:


Many of our organs can maintain and repair themselves during homeostasis and injury, as a result of the action of tissue-specific, multipotent stem cells. However, recent evidence from mammalian systems suggests that injury stimulates dramatic plasticity, or transient changes in cell potential, in both stem cells and more differentiated cells. Planarian flatworms possess abundant stem cells, making them an exceptional model for understanding the cellular behavior underlying homeostasis and regeneration. Recent discoveries of cell lineages and regeneration-specific events provide an initial framework for unraveling the complex cellular contributions to regeneration. In this review, we discuss the concept of cellular plasticity in the context of planarian regeneration, and consider the possibility that pluripotency may be a transient, probabilistic state exhibited by stem cells.


Planaria; homeostasis; plasticity; regeneration; stem cells

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center