Research Article

Self-organization and progenitor targeting generate stable patterns in planarian regeneration

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Science  15 Mar 2018:
eaap8179
DOI: 10.1126/science.aap8179

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Abstract

During animal regeneration cells must organize into discrete and functional systems. We show that self-organization, along with patterning cues, govern progenitor behavior in planarian regeneration. Surgical paradigms allowed manipulation of planarian eye regeneration in predictable locations and numbers, generating alternative stable neuroanatomical states for wild-type animals with multiple functional ectopic eyes. We utilized animals with multiple ectopic eyes and eye transplantation to demonstrate that broad progenitor specification, combined with self-organization, allows anatomy maintenance during regeneration. We propose a model for regenerative progenitors involving (i) migratory targeting cues, (ii) self-organization into existing or regenerating eyes, and (iii) a broad zone, associated with coarse progenitor specification, in which eyes can be targeted by progenitors. These three properties help explain how tissues can be organized during regeneration.

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