Single-Cell Analysis Reveals Functionally Distinct Classes within the Planarian Stem Cell Compartment
Author(s)van Wolfswinkel, Josien C.; Wagner, Daniel Elger; Reddien, Peter
MetadataShow full item record
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 present a new view of planarian neoblasts, in which the population is comprised of two major and functionally distinct cellular compartments.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Biology; Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research
Cell Stem Cell
van Wolfswinkel, Josien C., Daniel E. Wagner, and Peter W. Reddien. “Single-Cell Analysis Reveals Functionally Distinct Classes within the Planarian Stem Cell Compartment.” Cell Stem Cell 15.3 (2014): 326–339.
Author's final manuscript