Planarian Stem Cell Heterogeneity

  • Salvetti Alessandra
  • Leonardo RossiEmail author
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 1123)


Planarian (Platyhelminthes, Triclads) are free-living flatworms endowed with extraordinary regenerative capabilities, i.e., the ability to rebuild any missing body parts also from small fragments. Planarian regenerative capabilities fascinated scientific community since early 1800, including high-standing scientists such as J.T. Morgan and C. M. Child. Today, it is known that planarian regeneration is due to the presence of a wide population of stem cells, the so-called neoblasts. However, the understanding of the nature of cells orchestrating planarian regeneration was a long journey, and several questions still remain unanswered. In this chapter, beginning from the definition of the classical concept of neoblast, we review progressive discoveries that have brought to the modern view of these cells as a highly heterogeneous population of stem cells including pluripotent stem cells and undifferentiated populations of committed progenies.


Planarian Stem cells Neoblast Regeneration Committed progeny Platyhelminthes Piwi Flatworms Clonogenic neoblast σ-Neoblasts ζ-Neoblasts Tetraspanin 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Clinical and Experimental MedicineUniversity of PisaPisaItaly

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