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Sample records for planarians platyhelminthes tricladida

  1. Biogeography and karyotypes of freshwater planarians (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida, Paludicola) in southern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Knakievicz, Tanise; Lau, Adriana Helena; Prá, Daniel; Erdtmann, Bernardo

    2007-02-01

    In the Tricladida (Platyhelminthes), the incidence of different biotypes identified by several ploidy levels is very common. Planarians collected in the State of Rio Grande do Sul were identified using cytogenetics. Different species distributions were observed with respect to Rio Grande do Sul's geomorphology, which could have been caused by their different microhabitats. Girardia tigrina and G. anderlani consisted of diploid and triploid individuals, whereas G. schubarti showed diploids, triploids, and mixoploids; for all these species, individuals of different ploidies were sympatric. Only for diploid G. anderlani were B chromosomes observed. These B chromosomes seem to have an irregular segregational behavior during mitosis, and possibly also during meiosis. However the processes (e.g., selection, mutation) of maintaining 2n, 3n, and 2n/3n individuals within natural populations of G. schubarti remain to be clarified.

  2. Molecular phylogeny of land and freshwater planarians (Tricladida, Platyhelminthes): from freshwater to land and back.

    PubMed

    Alvarez-Presas, Marta; Baguñà, Jaume; Riutort, Marta

    2008-05-01

    The suborder Tricladida (phylum Platyhelminthes) comprises the well-known free-living flatworms, taxonomically grouped into three infraorders according to their ecology: Maricola (marine planarians), Paludicola (freshwater planarians), and Terricola (land planarians). Molecular analyses have demonstrated that the Paludicola are paraphyletic, the Terricola being the sister group of one of the three paludicolan families, the Dugesiidae. However, neither 18S rDNA nor COI based trees have been able to resolve the relationships among species of Terricola and Dugesiidae, particularly the monophyly of Terricola. Here, we present new molecular data including sequences of nuclear genes (18S rDNA, 28S rDNA) and a mitochondrial gene (COI) of a wider sample of dugesiid and terricolan species. The new sequences have been analyzed, together with those previously obtained, in independent and concatenated analyses using maximum likelihood and bayesian methods. The results show that, although some parts of the trees remain poorly resolved, they support a monophyletic origin for Terricola followed by a likely return of some species to freshwater habitats. Relationships within the monophyletic group of Dugesiidae are clearly resolved, and relationships among some terricolan subfamilies are also clearly established and point to the need for a thorough revision of Terricola taxonomy.

  3. First report of the land planarian Diversibipalium multilineatum (Makino & Shirasawa, 1983) (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida, Continenticola) in Europe.

    PubMed

    Mazza, Giuseppe; Menchetti, Mattia; Sluys, Ronald; Solà, Eduard; Riutort, Marta; Tricarico, Elena; Justine, Jean-Lou; Cavigioli, Luca; Mori, Emiliano

    2016-01-26

    Introduction of alien species may significantly affect soil ecosystems, through predation or disruption of components of native ecosystems (Winsor et al. 2004; Álvarez-Presas et al. 2014; Justine et al. 2014). Land planarians have been reported as alien species in soils throughout the world and, among those, some species are considered to be successful invaders, e.g. Platydemus manokwari de Beauchamp, 1963, Arthurdendyus triangulatus (Dendy, 1894), Bipalium adventitium Hyman, 1943, Bipalium kewense Moseley, 1878 and Dolichoplana striata Moseley, 1877 (Winsor et al. 2004; Álvarez-Presas et al. 2014; Justine et al. 2014, 2015). Soil moisture status seems to be an important element for their successful invasion (Fraser & Boag 1998). In Europe at least 18 species of alien land planarians have been recorded since now and some of them are considered as invasive ones, e.g. P. manokwari (cf. Justine et al. 2014). Although the alien land planarian B. kewense has been reported to occur in many greenhouses in Italy (Bello et al. 1995), no data are available on its establishment and/or impact on natural environments. On 28th September 2014, 20 specimens (~1 individual/m2) of the land planarian Diversibipalium multilineatum (Makino & Shirasawa, 1983) (Fig. 1), native to Japan, were collected under pots, branches and plastic materials in a private garden located in the center of Bologna (Emilia Romagna, Central Italy), near the urban park Giardini Margherita (44°29' N, 11°21' E; WGS84). Thirty plant species (both indigenous and alien), mainly cultivated as bonsai (e.g. Lagerstroemia indica L., Juniperus procumbens (Siebold ex Endl.) Miquel), were present in this shady, wet garden (25 m2). Between March 2014 and June 2015, 70 more specimens of D. multilineatum were collected at the same site, mainly at dusk and dawn after rain. Reproduction by fission and regeneration processes were observed in several of those specimens, which were kept for

  4. Evolutionary history of the Tricladida and the Platyhelminthes: an up-to-date phylogenetic and systematic account.

    PubMed

    Riutort, Marta; Álvarez-Presas, Marta; Lázaro, Eva; Solà, Eduard; Paps, Jordi

    2012-01-01

    Within the free-living platyhelminths, the triclads, or planarians, are the best-known group, largely as a result of long-standing and intensive research on regeneration, pattern formation and Hox gene expression. However, the group's evolutionary history has been long debated, with controversies ranging from their phyletic structure and position within the Metazoa to the relationships among species within the Tricladida. Over the the last decade, with the advent of molecular phylogenies, some of these issues have begun to be resolved. Here, we present an up-to-date summary of the main phylogenetic changes and novelties with some comments on their evolutionary implications. The phylum has been split into two groups, and the position of the main group (the Rhabdithophora and the Catenulida), close to the Annelida and the Mollusca within the Lophotrochozoa, is now clear. Their internal relationships, although not totally resolved, have been clarified. Tricladida systematics has also experienced a revolution since the implementation of molecular data. The terrestrial planarians have been demonstrated to have emerged from one of the freshwater families, giving a different view of their evolution and greatly altering their classification. The use of molecular data is also facilitating the identification of Tricladida species by DNA barcoding, allowing better knowledge of their distribution and genetic diversity. Finally, molecular phylogenetic and phylogeographical analyses, taking advantage of recent data, are beginning to give a clear picture of the recent history of the Dugesia and Schmidtea species in the Mediterranean.

  5. Anatomical deviation of male organs of land planarians from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with description of two new species of Cratera (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida).

    PubMed

    Carbayo, Fernando; Almeida, Ana Laura

    2015-03-11

    Two new land planarian species, collected in the State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, are described. Their external aspect is similar to that of Imbira marcusi Carbayo et al., 2013 and Pseudogeoplana theresopolitana (Schirch, 1929), respectively. The analysis of the internal organs, however, revealed they belong to the genus Cratera. The male copulatory organs of one species is very different from any other geoplaninid, for the penis papilla holds a large, distal cavity receiving the ejaculatory duct and, furthermore, the papilla projects vertically downwards from the roof of the male atrium. Thus we consider it as a new species, Cratera cuarassu sp. nov. The second species differs from its congeners in that the dorsal insertion of the penis papilla is anterior to the ventral one, and in that the female atrium is narrowed in the anterior portion. The species was found in the type locality of Pseudogeoplana theresopolitana (Schirch, 1929) and compares well with it in the external features. However, since its internal organs are unknown and the type material of the species is seemingly lost, we describe it as Cratera anamariae Carbayo, sp. nov.

  6. The complete mitochondrial genome of Dugesia japonica (Platyhelminthes; order Tricladida).

    PubMed

    Sakai, Masato; Sakaizumi, Mitsuru

    2012-10-01

    We used two sequencing methods, namely long polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and primer walking, to determine the complete mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequence of Dugesia japonica and most of the mtDNA sequence of Dugesia ryukyuensis. The genome of D. japonica contained 36 genes including 12 of the 13 protein-coding genes characteristic of metazoan mitochondrial genomes, two ribosomal RNA genes, and 22 transfer RNA genes. The genome of D. ryukyuensis contained 33 genes, including 12 protein-coding genes, two ribosomal RNA genes, and 19 transfer RNA genes. The gene order of the mitochondrial genome from the Dugesia species showed no clear homology with either the Neodermata or other free-living Rhabditophora. This indicates that the platyhelminths exhibit great variability in mitochondrial gene order. This is the first complete sequence analysis of the mitochondrial genome of a free-living member of Rhabditophora, which will facilitate further studies on the population genetics and genomic evolution of the Platyhelminthes.

  7. The taxonomic status of Dugesia biblica from Israel and Turkey (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida, Dugesiidae)

    PubMed Central

    Solà, Eduard; Sluys, Ronald; Segev, Ori; Blaustein, Leon; Riutort, Marta

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The taxonomic status of Dugesia biblica (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida, Dugesiidae) from Israel and Turkey is problematic due to its morphological similarity with Dugesia sicula since these nominal species present overlapping characters. In this study we analyzed histological preparations of specimens of these two nominal species and also compared mitochondrial COI gene sequences from Israeli populations to the already known haplotype composition of Dugesia sicula. We concluded that these animals belong to the same species and therefore we consider Dugesia biblica to be a junior synonym of Dugesia sicula. This implies that the distribution range of Dugesia sicula is even wider than previously thought, and that the species is present all around the Mediterranean Basin and on many of its islands. PMID:26085791

  8. Investigation of the ultrastructure of Dendrocoelum constrictum (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida) spermatogenesis and mature spermatozoa.

    PubMed

    Harrath, Abdel Halim; Gammoudi, Mehrez; Mansour, Lamjed; Ahmed, Mukhtar; Sirotkin, Alexander V; Al Omar, Suliman Y; Ibrahim, Khalid E; Alwasel, Saleh H

    2014-09-01

    To add to our understanding of dendrocoelid spermatozoa and to describe additional phylogenetic characters, the ultrastructure of the testis was investigated in the subterranean freshwater planarian Dendrocoelum constrictum. This is the first study investigating spermatogenesis and spermatozoon ultrastructure in a subterranean freshwater planarian species. We found that the basic structure of spermatozoa in D. constrictum is similar to that of other Tricladida that have been studied previously. In fact, D. constrictum spermatozoa possess an elongated nucleus, one giant mitochondrion, and two subterminal flagella with a 9+'1' pattern. The flagella emerge together from one side of the spermatozoon. However, D. constrictum has some characteristics that have not yet been described for other freshwater planarians. In fact, the number of cortical microtubules reaches the maximum number in the anterior and middle part of region I, and then decrease until they disappear towards the posterior extremity of the spermatozoon. The extreme tip of the anterior region of the spermatozoon exhibits a specific external ornamentation of the plasma membrane.

  9. [Telomere length and phylogenetic relationship of Baikal and Siberian planarians (Turbellaria, Tricladida)].

    PubMed

    Koroleva, A G; Evtushenko, E V; Timoshkin, O A; Vershinin, A V; Kiril'chik, S V

    2013-01-01

    Dynamics of the telomeric DNA (tDNA) and the phylogeny of the Baikal and Siberian planarians have been studied based on the analysis of the 18S rDNA and beta-actin gene fragments. A relationship between tDNA and the planarians size has been demonstrated. Giant planarians with a minor exception have longer tDNA than little planarians. Phylogenetic affinity between the species that have the stretched tracks of tDNA, big size and similar habitats may indicate possible role of tDNA in the development of the indefinite regenerative capacity of planarians.

  10. The power of regeneration and the stem-cell kingdom: freshwater planarians (Platyhelminthes).

    PubMed

    Saló, Emili

    2006-05-01

    The great powers of regeneration shown by freshwater planarians, capable of regenerating a complete organism from any tiny body fragment, have attracted the interest of scientists throughout history. In 1814, Dalyell concluded that planarians could "almost be called immortal under the edge of the knife". Equally impressive is the developmental plasticity of these platyhelminthes, including continuous growth and fission (asexual reproduction) in well-fed organisms, and shrinkage (degrowth) during prolonged starvation. The source of their morphological plasticity and regenerative capability is a stable population of totipotent stem cells--"neoblasts"; this is the only cell type in the adult that has mitotic activity and differentiates into all cell types. This cellular feature is unique to planarians in the Bilateria clade. Over the last fifteen years, molecular studies have begun to reveal the role of developmental genes in regeneration, although it would be premature to propose a molecular model for planarian regeneration. Genomic and proteomic data are essential in answering some of the fundamental questions concerning this remarkable morphological plasticity. Such information should also pave the way to understanding the genetic pathways associated with metazoan somatic stem-cell regulation and pattern formation.

  11. Chromosome polymorphism and complements in populations of Girardia species (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida, Paludicola) from southern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Benya, E; Leal-Zanchet, A M; Santos, W H; Hauser, J; Erdtmann, B

    2007-12-01

    The karyotypes of four species of freshwater triclads of the genus Girardia (Platyhelminthes), i.e. G. schubarti, G. tigrina, G. anderlani, and G. biapertura, from populations of different localities of the Rio Grande do Sul State, in southern Brazil, were analyzed. The karyotype of G. biapertura is presented for the first time. Three basic complements of 4, 8, and 9 chromosomes were found. Diploids, triploids, or mixoploids (2n/3n) specimens were frequently detected in these populations. The basic chromosomal complement of n=9 was verified in two different species (G. biapertura and G. anderlani), presenting a large acrocentric chromosome which is rare in the family Dugesiidae. An intra and interspecific chromosomal variability was also detected and its evolutionary implications are discussed.

  12. A new and aberrant species of Dugesia (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida, Dugesiidae) from Madagascar

    PubMed Central

    Stocchino, Giacinta Angela; Sluys, Ronald; Manconi, Renata

    2014-01-01

    Abstract In this paper we report a new species of Dugesia of the family Dugesiidae from Madagascar, representing the fourth species of freshwater planarian known from this global biodiversity hotspot. In some respects the new species is aberrant, when compared with its congeners, being characterized by a head with smoothly rounded auricles, a peculiar course of the oviducts, including the presence of a common posterior extension, and by the asymmetrical openings of the vasa deferentia at about halfway along the seminal vesicle. Further, it is characterized by a ventral course of the ejaculatory duct with a terminal opening, very long spermiducal vesicles and unstalked cocoons. Its diploid chromosome complement with 18 chromosomes represents an uncommon feature among fissiparous species of Dugesia. PMID:25147450

  13. Prey-tracking behavior in the invasive terrestrial planarian Platydemus manokwari (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida).

    PubMed

    Iwai, Noriko; Sugiura, Shinji; Chiba, Satoshi

    2010-11-01

    Platydemus manokwari is a broadly distributed invasive terrestrial flatworm that preys heavily on land snails and has been credited with the demise of numerous threatened island faunas. We examined whether P. manokwari tracks the mucus trails of land snail prey, investigated its ability to determine trail direction, and evaluated prey preference among various land snail species. A plastic treatment plate with the mucus trail of a single species and a control plate without the trail were placed side by side at the exit of cages housing P. manokwari. All trials were then videotaped overnight. The flatworms moved along plates with mucus trails, but did not respond to plates without trails, blank control (distilled water), or with conspecific flatworm trails. When presented at the midpoint of a snail mucus trail, the flatworms followed the trail in a random direction. The flatworms showed a preference when choosing between two plates, each with a mucus trail of different land snail species. Our results suggest that P. manokwari follows snail mucus trails based on chemical cues to increase the chance of encountering prey; however, trail-tracking behavior showed no directionality.

  14. Prey-tracking behavior in the invasive terrestrial planarian Platydemus manokwari (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iwai, Noriko; Sugiura, Shinji; Chiba, Satoshi

    2010-11-01

    Platydemus manokwari is a broadly distributed invasive terrestrial flatworm that preys heavily on land snails and has been credited with the demise of numerous threatened island faunas. We examined whether P. manokwari tracks the mucus trails of land snail prey, investigated its ability to determine trail direction, and evaluated prey preference among various land snail species. A plastic treatment plate with the mucus trail of a single species and a control plate without the trail were placed side by side at the exit of cages housing P. manokwari. All trials were then videotaped overnight. The flatworms moved along plates with mucus trails, but did not respond to plates without trails, blank control (distilled water), or with conspecific flatworm trails. When presented at the midpoint of a snail mucus trail, the flatworms followed the trail in a random direction. The flatworms showed a preference when choosing between two plates, each with a mucus trail of different land snail species. Our results suggest that P. manokwari follows snail mucus trails based on chemical cues to increase the chance of encountering prey; however, trail-tracking behavior showed no directionality.

  15. Dugesia sicula (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida): the colonizing success of an asexual Planarian

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Dugesia sicula is the only species of its genus not presenting an endemic or restricted distribution within the Mediterranean area. It mostly comprises fissiparous populations (asexual reproduction by body division and regeneration), most likely sexually sterile, and characterized by an extremely low genetic diversity interpreted as the consequence of a recent anthropic expansion. However, its fissiparous reproduction can result in an apparent lack of diversity within the species, since genetic variation within individuals can be as large as between them because most individuals within a population are clones. We have estimated haplotype and nucleotide diversity of cytochrome oxidase I within and among individuals along the species distribution of a broad sample of D. sicula, including asexual and the two only sexual populations known today; and predicted its potential distribution based on climatic variables. Our aim was to determine the centre of colonisation origin, whether the populations are recent, and whether the species is expanding. Results The species presents 3 most frequent haplotypes, differing in a maximum of 11 base pairs. As expected from their fissiparous mode of reproduction, in half of all the analysed localities many individuals have multiple heteroplasmic haplotypes. The distribution of haplotypes is not geographically structured; however, the distribution of haplotypes and heteroplasmic populations shows higher diversity in the central Mediterranean region. The potential distribution predicted by climatic variables based modelling shows a preference for coastal areas and fits well with the observed data. Conclusions The distribution and frequency of the most frequent haplotypes and the presence of heteroplasmic individuals allow us to gain an understanding of the recent history of the species, together with previous knowledge on its phylogenetic relationships and age: The species most probably originated in Africa and dispersed through the central Mediterranean. After one or multiple populations became triploid and fissiparous, the species colonized the Mediterranean basin, likely both by its own means and helped by human activities. Its present distribution practically fulfils its potential distribution as modelled with climatic variables. Its prevalence in coastal regions with higher water temperatures predicts a likely future expansion to northern and more interior areas following the increase in temperatures due to climate change. PMID:24330464

  16. Reproductive strategies, karyology, parasites, and taxonomic status of Dugesia populations from Yemen (Platyhelminthes: Tricladida: Dugesiidae).

    PubMed

    Harrath, Abdul Halim; Sluys, Ronald; Aldahmash, Waleed; Al-Razaki, Abdulkarim; Alwasel, Saleh

    2013-06-01

    We present new data on the distribution, reproductive strategies, karyology, and taxonomic status of populations of freshwater planarians from Yemen. Nine populations were sampled and significant differences in their reproductive strategies and karyology are reported. The present study presents the first fully documented record of a naturally sexual, diploid (2n = 18) population of a Dugesia species in the eastern part of the Afrotropical region. Morphological characters combined with karyological data suggest that these Dugesia populations from Yemen represent a new species, which is herein described as Dugesia arabica Harrath and Sluys, sp. nov. This new species is mainly distinguishable from other Dugesia species that are distributed exclusively in the Mediterranean basin and in the eastern part of the Afrotropical region by the presence of the following features: well-developed and cone-shaped penis papilla, housing an ejaculatory duct that runs ventrally and has a subterminal and ventral opening; a considerably expanded and folded section of the bursal canal at the level of the oviducal openings; absence of a layer of longitudinal muscles on the copulatory bursa and the bursal canal. Specimens from two populations from Yemen were infested with a gregarine Protozoon.

  17. Ultrastructure of spermatogenesis and mature spermatozoon of the freshwater planarian Schmidtea mediterranea (Platyhelminthes, Paludicola).

    PubMed

    Harrath, Abdul Halim; Alwasel, Saleh; Zghal, Fathia; Tekaya, Saïda

    2012-02-01

    The aim of this study was to characterize for the first time spermatogenesis and spermiogenesis in the freshwater planarian Schmidtea mediterranea using both light and electron microscopy. Starting from the border towards the testis lumen we found types I and II spermatogonia, clusters of primary and secondary spermatocytes, spermatids and free spermatozoa. Light microscope observations show that type I spermatogonia have a large and pale nucleus whereas type II spermatogonia are significantly smaller than the one of type I, and show a darker and central bulky nucleus. At the ultrastructure level, both type I and type II spermatogonia are characterized by a wide nucleus with scanty cytoplasm containing free ribosomes, mitochondria and a dense chromatoid body whereas endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi complex were not observed. The cytoplasm of primary and secondary spermatocytes displays numerous free ribosomes and many endoplasmic reticulum cisternae and Golgi complexes, suggesting that the development of these organelles during spermatogenesis might contribute to the synthesis of hormones and proteins such as testosterone, transcription factors and tubulin. Mature spermatozoa structure closely resembles those of other freshwater triclads with a nucleus, a single fused mitochondrion, a row of cortical microtubules and a pair of flagella conforming to the 9+'1' microtubule pattern described for other Platyhelminthes.

  18. Fluvial basin history in the northeastern Mediterranean region underlies dispersal and speciation patterns in the genus Dugesia (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida, Dugesiidae).

    PubMed

    Solà, Eduard; Sluys, Ronald; Gritzalis, Konstantinos; Riutort, Marta

    2013-03-01

    In this study we analyzed the phylogenetic relationships of eastern Mediterranean freshwater planarians of the genus Dugesia, estimated divergence times for the various clades, and correlated their phylogeographic patterns with geological and paleoclimatic events, in order to discover which evolutionary processes have shaped the present-day distribution of these animals. Specimens were collected from freshwater courses and lakes in continental and insular Greece. Genetic divergences and phylogenetic relationships were inferred by using the mitochondrial gene subunit I of cytochrome oxidase (COI) and the nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer-1 (ITS-1) from 74 newly collected individuals from Greece. Divergence time estimates were obtained under a Bayesian framework, using the COI sequences. Two alternative geological dates for the isolation of Crete from the mainland were tested as calibration points. A clear phylogeographic pattern was present for Dugesia lineages in the Eastern Mediterranean. Morphological data, combined with information on genetic divergences, revealed that eight out of the nine known species were represented in the samples, while additional new, and still undescribed species were detected. Divergence time analyses suggested that Dugesia species became isolated in Crete after the first geological isolation of the island, and that their present distribution in the Eastern Mediterranean has been shaped mainly by vicariant events but also by dispersal. During the Messinian salinity crisis these freshwater planarians apparently were not able to cross the sea barrier between Crete and the mainland, while they probably did disperse between islands in the Aegean Sea. Their dependence on freshwater to survive suggests the presence of contiguous freshwater bodies in those regions. Our results also suggest a major extinction of freshwater planarians on the Peloponnese at the end of the Pliocene, while about 2Mya ago, when the current Mediterranean

  19. Planarians.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hummer, Paul J.

    1991-01-01

    Describes the easy collection procedures and classroom uses of live planarians. Suggests that the use of live animals in the classroom will allow students to observe different biological processes exhibited by living organisms. (ZWH)

  20. The preferential accumulation of cadmium in the head portion of the freshwater planarian, Dugesia japonica (Platyhelminthes: Turbellaria).

    PubMed

    Wu, Jui-Pin; Chen, Hon-Cheng; Li, Mei-Hui

    2011-12-01

    Free-living freshwater planarians are considered to have the potential for development as an experimental model for toxicological studies on xenobiotics, including metals. However, little was known about the distribution patterns of metals in the body of treated planarians. This study was conducted to determine the tissue distribution patterns of cadmium (Cd) in different body portions of the treated planarian, Dugesia japonica. Results showed that Cd accumulated in the head of planarians at a significantly higher concentration than in the tail. After examining the level of metallothionein (MT), we suggested that the tissue distribution pattern of Cd might be related to MT induction patterns. In contrast, in planarians treated with copper (Cu), neither the tissue accumulation of Cu nor the multiples of induction of MTs significantly differed between different portions. Furthermore, a higher Cd accumulation rate in the head of planarians caused more-severe oxidative stress to appear in this portion and also a higher susceptibility to a lethal concentration of Cd. Finally, both in vitro and in vivo acetylcholinesterase activities in both body portions of planarians were inhibited by Cd. The present study provides the first report that different metals are distributed in various body portions with different patterns in the planarian.

  1. Planarian Hox genes: novel patterns of expression during regeneration.

    PubMed

    Bayascas, J R; Castillo, E; Muñoz-Mármol, A M; Saló, E

    1997-01-01

    Platyhelminthes are widely considered to be the sister group of coelomates (Philippe, H., Chenuil, A. and Adoutte, A. (1994)Development 1994 Supplement, 15-24) and the first organisms to show bilateral symmetry and cephalization. Within this phylum, the freshwater planarians (Turbellaria, Tricladida) have been used as model systems for studying bidirectional regeneration (Slack, J. M. W. (1980) J. Theor. Biol 82, 105-140). We have been attempting to identify potential pattern-control genes involved in the regeneration of planarian heads and tails after amputation. Since Hox cluster genes determine positional identity along the anteroposterior axis in a wide range of animals (Slack, J. M. W., Holland, P. W. H. and Graham, C. F. (1993) Nature 361,490-492), we performed an extensive search for Hox-related genes in the planarian Dugesia(G)tigrina. Sequence analyses of seven planarian Dthox genes (Dthox-A to Dthox-G) reveal high similarities with the homeodomain region of the Hox cluster genes, allowing us to assign planarian Dthox genes to anterior and medial Hox cluster paralogous groups. Whole-mount in situ hybridization studies in regenerating adults showed very early, synchronous and colocalized activation of Dthox-D, Dthox-A, Dthox-C, Dthox-E, Dthox-G and Dthox-F. After one hour of regeneration a clear expression was observed in all Dthox genes studied. In addition, all seemed to be expressed in the same regenerative tissue, although in the last stages of regeneration (9 to 15 days) a differential timing of deactivation was observed. The same Dthox genes were also expressed synchronously and were colocalized during intercalary regeneration, although their expression was delayed. Terminal regeneration showed identical Dthox gene expression in anterior and posterior blastemas, which may prevent these genes from directing the distinction between head and tail. Finally, continuous expression along the whole lateral blastema in sagittal regenerates reflected a

  2. The invasive land planarian Platydemus manokwari (Platyhelminthes, Geoplanidae): records from six new localities, including the first in the USA.

    PubMed

    Justine, Jean-Lou; Winsor, Leigh; Barrière, Patrick; Fanai, Crispus; Gey, Delphine; Han, Andrew Wee Kien; La Quay-Velázquez, Giomara; Lee, Benjamin Paul Yi-Hann; Lefevre, Jean-Marc; Meyer, Jean-Yves; Philippart, David; Robinson, David G; Thévenot, Jessica; Tsatsia, Francis

    2015-01-01

    The land planarian Platydemus manokwari de Beauchamp, 1963 or "New Guinea flatworm" is a highly invasive species, mainly in the Pacific area, and recently in Europe (France). We report specimens from six additional countries and territories: New Caledonia (including mainland and two of the Loyalty Islands, Lifou and Maré), Wallis and Futuna Islands, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Puerto Rico, and Florida, USA. We analysed the COI gene (barcoding) in these specimens with two sets of primers and obtained 909 bp long sequences. In addition, specimens collected in Townsville (Australia) were also sequenced. Two haplotypes of the COI sequence, differing by 3.7%, were detected: the "World haplotype" found in France, New Caledonia, French Polynesia, Singapore, Florida and Puerto Rico; and the "Australian haplotype" found in Australia. The only locality with both haplotypes was in the Solomon Islands. The country of origin of Platydemus manokwari is New Guinea, and Australia and the Solomon Islands are the countries closest to New Guinea from which we had specimens. These results suggest that two haplotypes exist in the area of origin of the species, but that only one of the two haplotypes (the "World haplotype") has, through human agency, been widely dispersed. However, since P. manokwari is now recorded from 22 countries in the world and we have genetic information from only 8 of these, with none from New Guinea, this analysis provides only partial knowledge of the genetic structure of the invasive species. Morphological analysis of specimens from both haplotypes has shown some differences in ratio of the genital structures but did not allow us to interpret the haplotypes as different species. The new reports from Florida and Puerto Rico are firsts for the USA, for the American continent, and the Caribbean. P. manokwari is a known threat for endemic terrestrial molluscs and its presence is a matter of concern. While most of the infected territories reported until now were

  3. The invasive land planarian Platydemus manokwari (Platyhelminthes, Geoplanidae): records from six new localities, including the first in the USA

    PubMed Central

    Winsor, Leigh; Barrière, Patrick; Fanai, Crispus; Gey, Delphine; Han, Andrew Wee Kien; La Quay-Velázquez, Giomara; Lee, Benjamin Paul Yi-Hann; Lefevre, Jean-Marc; Meyer, Jean-Yves; Philippart, David; Robinson, David G.; Thévenot, Jessica; Tsatsia, Francis

    2015-01-01

    The land planarian Platydemus manokwari de Beauchamp, 1963 or “New Guinea flatworm” is a highly invasive species, mainly in the Pacific area, and recently in Europe (France). We report specimens from six additional countries and territories: New Caledonia (including mainland and two of the Loyalty Islands, Lifou and Maré), Wallis and Futuna Islands, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Puerto Rico, and Florida, USA. We analysed the COI gene (barcoding) in these specimens with two sets of primers and obtained 909 bp long sequences. In addition, specimens collected in Townsville (Australia) were also sequenced. Two haplotypes of the COI sequence, differing by 3.7%, were detected: the “World haplotype” found in France, New Caledonia, French Polynesia, Singapore, Florida and Puerto Rico; and the “Australian haplotype” found in Australia. The only locality with both haplotypes was in the Solomon Islands. The country of origin of Platydemus manokwari is New Guinea, and Australia and the Solomon Islands are the countries closest to New Guinea from which we had specimens. These results suggest that two haplotypes exist in the area of origin of the species, but that only one of the two haplotypes (the “World haplotype”) has, through human agency, been widely dispersed. However, since P. manokwari is now recorded from 22 countries in the world and we have genetic information from only 8 of these, with none from New Guinea, this analysis provides only partial knowledge of the genetic structure of the invasive species. Morphological analysis of specimens from both haplotypes has shown some differences in ratio of the genital structures but did not allow us to interpret the haplotypes as different species. The new reports from Florida and Puerto Rico are firsts for the USA, for the American continent, and the Caribbean. P. manokwari is a known threat for endemic terrestrial molluscs and its presence is a matter of concern. While most of the infected territories reported

  4. Pumilio genes from the Platyhelminthes.

    PubMed

    Koziol, Uriel; Marín, Monica; Castillo, Estela

    2008-01-01

    Pumilio proteins are proposed to have a conserved primordial function in the maintenance of proliferation in stem cells through post-transcriptional regulation. In this work, a search for pumilio homology domain (PUM-HD) sequences of pumilio genes from several Platyhelminthes species was performed, including representatives form Cestoda, Trematoda and Tricladida. Only one PUM-HD sequence was found in each triclad species; however, two PUM-HD homologues were found in all the parasitic species. These sequences formed two clearly separated clades: PlatyPum1, with sequences from all species, and PlatyPum2, composed exclusively of neodermatan sequences. Therefore, at least one duplication of the pumilio gene must have occurred before the divergence of cestodes and trematodes. Further duplications of PUM-HD were found in Fasciola hepatica, but these consist of retropseudogenes. This is the first comparative analysis of PUM-HD sequences in the Platyhelminthes and, more generally, in any lophotrochozoan phylum.

  5. [Regeneration of planarians: experimental object].

    PubMed

    Sheĭman, I M; Kreshchenko, I D

    2015-01-01

    We discuss the expediency of using invertebrates, such as flatworms and planarians, as experimental objects. Free-living planarian flatworms (phylum Platyhelminthes, class Turbellaria) are invertebrate animals in which a bilateral symmetry appears for the first time in evolution and organs and tissues form. As the highest ecological link of the food chain--predators--these animals are characterized by a set of behavioral reactions controlled by a differentiated central nervous system. Planarians have unsurpassed ability to regenerate lost or damaged body parts. Owing to the ease of their breeding and their convenience for manipulations, these animals are used to study the influence of chemical and physical factors on the processes of life, growth, and reproduction. Currently, planarians are recognized as a model for biological research in the field of regeneration, stem cell biology, study of their proliferation and differentiation, as well as the regulatory mechanisms of morphogenetic processes. The genome of the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea was fully sequenced, which opened up the opportunity to work with this object at the molecular biological level. Furthermore, planarians are used in neurobiological and toxicological studies, in studying the evolutionary aspects of centralization of the nervous system, mechanisms of muscle contraction, and in the development of new antiparasitic drugs. This review aims to demonstrate the relevance and diversity of research conducted on simple biological objects--planarians--to awider audience to show the historical continuity of these studies and their wide geographical distribution and to focus on the studies carried out in Russia, which, as a rule, are not included in the foreign reviews on planarian regeneration.

  6. Land planarians (Platyhelminthes) as a model organism for fine-scale phylogeographic studies: understanding patterns of biodiversity in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest hotspot.

    PubMed

    Alvarez-Presas, M; Carbayo, F; Rozas, J; Riutort, M

    2011-04-01

    The Brazilian Atlantic Forest is one of the richest biodiversity hotspots of the world. Paleoclimatic models have predicted two large stability regions in its northern and central parts, whereas southern regions might have suffered strong instability during Pleistocene glaciations. Molecular phylogeographic and endemism studies show, nevertheless, contradictory results: although some results validate these predictions, other data suggest that paleoclimatic models fail to predict stable rainforest areas in the south. Most studies, however, have surveyed species with relatively high dispersal rates whereas taxa with lower dispersion capabilities should be better predictors of habitat stability. Here, we have used two land planarian species as model organisms to analyse the patterns and levels of nucleotide diversity on a locality within the Southern Atlantic Forest. We find that both species harbour high levels of genetic variability without exhibiting the molecular footprint of recent colonization or population expansions, suggesting a long-term stability scenario. The results reflect, therefore, that paleoclimatic models may fail to detect refugia in the Southern Atlantic Forest, and that model organisms with low dispersal capability can improve the resolution of these models.

  7. Planarians sense simulated microgravity and hypergravity.

    PubMed

    Adell, Teresa; Saló, Emili; van Loon, Jack J W A; Auletta, Gennaro

    2014-01-01

    Planarians are flatworms, which belong to the phylum Platyhelminthes. They have been a classical subject of study due to their amazing regenerative ability, which relies on the existence of adult totipotent stem cells. Nowadays they are an emerging model system in the field of developmental, regenerative, and stem cell biology. In this study we analyze the effect of a simulated microgravity and a hypergravity environment during the process of planarian regeneration and embryogenesis. We demonstrate that simulated microgravity by means of the random positioning machine (RPM) set at a speed of 60 °/s but not at 10 °/s produces the dead of planarians. Under hypergravity of 3 g and 4 g in a large diameter centrifuge (LDC) planarians can regenerate missing tissues, although a decrease in the proliferation rate is observed. Under 8 g hypergravity small planarian fragments are not able to regenerate. Moreover, we found an effect of gravity alterations in the rate of planarian scission, which is its asexual mode of reproduction. No apparent effects of altered gravity were found during the embryonic development.

  8. Planarians Sense Simulated Microgravity and Hypergravity

    PubMed Central

    Adell, Teresa; Saló, Emili; van Loon, Jack J. W. A.

    2014-01-01

    Planarians are flatworms, which belong to the phylum Platyhelminthes. They have been a classical subject of study due to their amazing regenerative ability, which relies on the existence of adult totipotent stem cells. Nowadays they are an emerging model system in the field of developmental, regenerative, and stem cell biology. In this study we analyze the effect of a simulated microgravity and a hypergravity environment during the process of planarian regeneration and embryogenesis. We demonstrate that simulated microgravity by means of the random positioning machine (RPM) set at a speed of 60 °/s but not at 10 °/s produces the dead of planarians. Under hypergravity of 3 g and 4 g in a large diameter centrifuge (LDC) planarians can regenerate missing tissues, although a decrease in the proliferation rate is observed. Under 8 g hypergravity small planarian fragments are not able to regenerate. Moreover, we found an effect of gravity alterations in the rate of planarian scission, which is its asexual mode of reproduction. No apparent effects of altered gravity were found during the embryonic development. PMID:25309918

  9. Embryonic development of Girardia tigrina (Girard, 1850) (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida, Paludicola).

    PubMed

    Vara, D C; Leal-Zanchet, A M; Lizardo-Daudt, H m

    2008-11-01

    The embryonic development of freshwater triclads is mainly known from studies of species of Dendrocoelum, Planaria, Polycelis, and, more recently, Schmidtea. The present study characterizes the development of Girardia tigrina (Girard, 1850) by means of optical microcopy using glycol methacrylate semi-thin sections. 94 cocoons were collected in the period from laying to hatching, with intervals of up to twenty-four hours. The sequence of morphological changes occurring in the embryo permitted the identification of nine embryonic stages. At the time of cocoon laying, numerous embryos were dispersed among many yolk cells, with a rigid capsule covering the entire cocoon. In the first stage (approx. up to 6 hours after cocoon laying), yolk cells and embryonic cells showed random distribution. Stage II (between 12 and 24 hours after cocoon laying) is characterized by aggregates of blastomeres, which later aggregate forming an enteroblastula. Approximately 2 days after cocoon laying (stage III), formation of the embryonic epidermis and embryonic digestive system took place, the latter degenerating during the subsequent stage. Stage V (until the fourth day) is characterized by the formation of the definitive epidermis. Between 4 and 6 days after laying, organogenesis of the definitive inner organs starts (stage VI). Approximately 14 days after laying (stage IX), formation of the nervous system is completed. At this stage, the embryo shows similar characteristics to those of newly hatched juveniles. The hatching of Girardia tigrina occurs in the period between twelve to twenty-two days after cocoon laying.

  10. Phylogenetic analysis of the Argonaute protein family in platyhelminths.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Yadong

    2013-03-01

    Argonaute proteins (AGOs) are mediators of gene silencing via recruitment of small regulatory RNAs to induce translational regression or degradation of targeted molecules. Platyhelminths have been reported to express microRNAs but the diversity of AGOs in the phylum has not been explored. Phylogenetic relationships of members of this protein family were studied using data from six platyhelminth genomes. Phylogenetic analysis showed that all cestode and trematode AGOs, along with some triclad planarian AGOs, were grouped into the Ago subfamily and its novel sister clade, here referred to as Cluster 1. These were very distant from Piwi and Class 3 subfamilies. By contrast, a number of planarian Piwi-like AGOs formed a novel sister clade to the Piwi subfamily. Extensive sequence searching revealed the presence of an additional locus for AGO2 in the cestode Echinococcus granulosus and exon expansion in this species and E. multilocularis. The current study suggests the absence of the Piwi subfamily and Class 3 AGOs in cestodes and trematodes and the Piwi-like AGO expansion in a free-living triclad planarian and the occurrence of exon expansion prior to or during the evolution of the most-recent common ancestor of the Echinococcus species studied.

  11. Regulatory RNAs in Planarians.

    PubMed

    Pawlicka, Kamila; Perrigue, Patrick M; Barciszewski, Jan

    2016-01-01

    The full scope of regulatory RNA evolution and function in epigenetic processes is still not well understood. The development of planarian flatworms to be used as a simple model organism for research has shown a great potential to address gaps in the knowledge in this field of study. The genomes of planarians encode a wide array of regulatory RNAs that function in gene regulation. Here, we review planarians as a suitable model organism for the identification and function of regulatory RNAs.

  12. Neurobehavioral toxicity of cadmium sulfate to the planarian Dugesia dorotocephala

    SciTech Connect

    Grebe, E.; Schaeffer, D.J. )

    1991-05-01

    The authors are developing bioassays which use planarians (free-living platyhelminthes) for the rapid determination of various types of toxicity, including acute mortality, tumorigenicity, and short-term neurobehavioral responses. Their motivation for using these animals is due to their importance as components of the aquatic ecology of unpolluted streams their sensitivity to low concentrations of environmental toxicants and the presence of a sensitive neurological system with a true brain which allows for complex social behavior. A previous paper described the results of a neurobehavioral bioassay using phenol in a crossover study. This paper reports a similar crossover study using cadmium sulfate.

  13. Spliced-leader trans-splicing in freshwater planarians.

    PubMed

    Zayas, Ricardo M; Bold, Tyler D; Newmark, Phillip A

    2005-10-01

    trans-Splicing, in which a spliced-leader (SL) RNA is appended to the most 5' exon of independently transcribed pre-mRNAs, has been described in a wide range of eukaryotes, from protozoans to chordates. Here we describe trans-splicing in the freshwater planarian Schmidtea mediterranea, a free-living member of the phylum Platyhelminthes. Analysis of an expressed sequence tag (EST) collection from this organism showed that over 300 transcripts shared one of two approximately 35-base sequences (Smed SL-1 and SL-2) at their 5' ends. Examination of genomic sequences encoding representatives of these transcripts revealed that these shared sequences were transcribed elsewhere in the genome. RNA blot analysis, 5' and 3' rapid amplification of cDNA ends, as well as genomic sequence data showed that 42-nt SL sequences were derived from small RNAs of approximately 110 nt. Similar sequences were also found at the 5' ends of ESTs from the planarian Dugesia japonica. trans-Splicing has already been described in numerous representatives of the phylum Platyhelminthes (trematodes, cestodes, and polyclads); its presence in two representatives of the triclads supports the hypothesis that this mode of RNA processing is ancestral within this group. The upcoming complete genome sequence of S. mediterranea, combined with this animal's experimental accessibility and susceptibility to RNAi, provide another model organism in which to study the function of the still-enigmatic trans-splicing.

  14. Autophagy in freshwater planarians.

    PubMed

    González-Estévez, Cristina

    2008-01-01

    Planarians provide a new and emergent in vivo model organism to study autophagy. On the whole, maintaining the normal homeostatic balance in planarians requires continuous dynamic adjustment of many processes, including proliferation, apoptosis, differentiation, and autophagy. This makes them very different from other models where autophagy only occurs at very specific times and/or in very specific organs. This chapter aims to offer a general vision of planarians as a model organism, placing more emphasis on those characteristics related to autophagy and describing how autophagy fits into the processes of body remodeling during regeneration and starvation. We also define exactly what is known about autophagy in these organisms and we discuss the techniques available to study the relevant processes, as well as the techniques that are currently being developed. As such, this chapter will serve as a compilation of the techniques available to investigate autophagy in planarians.

  15. Comparative analysis of known miRNAs across platyhelminths.

    PubMed

    Jin, Xiaoliang; Lu, Lixia; Su, Hailong; Lou, Zhongzi; Wang, Fang; Zheng, Yadong; Xu, Guo-Tong

    2013-08-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a subtype of small regulatory RNAs that are involved in numerous biological processes through small RNA-induced silencing networks. In an attempt to explore the phylogeny of miRNAs across five platyhelminths, we integrated annotated miRNAs and their full genomes. We identified conserved miRNA clusters and, in particular, miR-71/2 was conserved from planarian to parasitic flatworms and was expanded in free-living Schmidtea mediterranea. Analysis of 22 miRNA loci provided compelling evidence that most known miRNAs are conserved across platyhelminths. Meanwhile, we also observed alterations of known protein-coding genes flanking miRNA(s), such as transcriptional direction conversion and locus relocation, in around ~ 41% of 22 known miRNA loci. Compared with Echinococcus multilocularis, the majority of these events occurred in evolution-distant Hymenolepis microstoma, Schistosoma japonicum or/and S. mediterranea. These results imply rearrangement events occurred near the known miRNA loci.

  16. Two new species of freshwater flatworms (Platyhelminthes: Tricladida: Continenticola) from South American caves.

    PubMed

    Souza, Stella; Morais, Ana Laura; Bichuette, Maria Elina; Leal-Zanchet, Ana

    2016-03-14

    The diversity of freshwater triclads in the Neotropical region is considered to be low, but extensive areas of South America remain almost unexplored. Herein we describe two cave-dwelling, new species of Girardia, one from a transition zone of the Cerrado and Caatinga phytophysiognomies and the other from the Cerrado phytophysiognomy. The species from the Cerrado-Caatinga transition is a troglobite, eyeless and whitish; the species from the Cerrado area is possibly a troglophile, since it shows heavily pigmented body and eyes. Each species is easily recognized by a unique combination of features in its external morphology and copulatory apparatus. The two new species of Girardia show a restricted distribution, even the troglophile, and occur in caves without legal protection. Therefore, they must be considered as vulnerable organisms in a conservation context.

  17. Effects of Water Quality on Survival and Reproduction of Four Species of Planaria (Turbellaria: Tricladida)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1994-01-01

    Introduction Historically, researchers have investigated planar- ians for their regeneration , physiology, memory and Planaria (Turbellaria: Tricladida) are...EB 24 ’ L Effects of water quality on survival and reproduction of four species of planaria (Turbellaria: Tricladida)" V.R. RIVERAI and M.J. PERICH2...determined to be the most adaptable and tolerant of the species evaluated. _ Key words: Planaria , water quality, survival, reproduction 0

  18. [Pharynx regeneration in planarians].

    PubMed

    Kreshchenko, N D

    2009-01-01

    The obtained and published data on pharynx regeneration in planarians have been reviewed. Planarians can regenerate from a small body fragment and restore all missing organs including the pharynx. The pharynx is a relatively autonomous organ with a differentiated structure and specialized function. Pharynx regeneration has specific features, and its studies are of considerable theoretical interest. Pharynx regeneration can also be a convenient model to study the molecular mechanisms of regeneration that remain undisclosed. In addition, this model can be used to test biologically active compounds in order to elucidate their effect on morphogenesis. This subject of investigation benefits by a simpler and more adequate analysis as well as a possibility to use large numbers of animals and small quantities of analyzed substances.

  19. Stem cells and neural signalling: the case of neoblast recruitment and plasticity in low dose X-ray treated planarians.

    PubMed

    Rossi, Leonardo; Iacopetti, Paola; Salvetti, Alessandra

    2012-01-01

    Planarians (Platyhelminthes) possess an abundant population of adult stem cells, the neoblasts, capable to give rise to both somatic and germ cells. Although neoblasts share similar morphological features, several pieces of evidence suggest that they constitute a heterogeneous population of cells with distinct ultrastructural and molecular features. We found that in planarians treated with low X-ray doses (5 Gy), only a few neoblasts survive. Among these cells, those located close to the nervous system activate an intense proliferation program and migrate to reconstitute the whole complex neoblast population. This phenomenon is inhibited by the substance P receptor antagonist spantide, and accompanied by the up-regulation of a number of genes implicated in neuronal signalling and plasticity, suggesting that signals of neural origin modulate neoblast proliferation and/or migration. Here, we review these findings and the literature available on the influence of the nervous system on stem cell activity, both in planarians and vertebrates, and we propose 5 Gy-treated planarians as a unique model system to study the influence of neural signalling on stem cell biology.

  20. Triploid planarian reproduces truly bisexually with euploid gametes produced through a different meiotic system between sex.

    PubMed

    Chinone, Ayako; Nodono, Hanae; Matsumoto, Midori

    2014-06-01

    Although polyploids are common among plants and some animals, polyploidization often causes reproductive failure. Triploids, in particular, are characterized by the problems of chromosomal pairing and segregation during meiosis, which may cause aneuploid gametes and results in sterility. Thus, they are generally considered to reproduce only asexually. In the case of the Platyhelminthes Dugesia ryukyuensis, populations with triploid karyotypes are normally found in nature as both fissiparous and oviparous triploids. Fissiparous triploids can also be experimentally sexualized if they are fed sexual planarians, developing both gonads and other reproductive organs. Fully sexualized worms begin reproducing by copulation rather than fission. In this study, we examined the genotypes of the offspring obtained by breeding sexualized triploids and found that the offspring inherited genes from both parents, i.e., they reproduced truly bisexually. Furthermore, meiotic chromosome behavior in triploid sexualized planarians differed significantly between male and female germ lines, in that female germ line cells remained triploid until prophase I, whereas male germ line cells appeared to become diploid before entry into meiosis. Oocytes at the late diplotene stage contained not only paired bivalents but also unpaired univalents that were suggested to produce diploid eggs if they remained in subsequent processes. Triploid planarians may therefore form euploid gametes by different meiotic systems in female and male germ lines and thus are be able to reproduce sexually in contrast to many other triploid organisms.

  1. Identification of members of several homeobox genes in a planarian using a ligation-mediated polymerase chain reaction technique.

    PubMed Central

    Balavoine, G

    1996-01-01

    I have used a novel single-sided specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) strategy inspired by ligation-mediated PCR to clone fragments of divergent homeobox genes from a flatworm, the planarian Polycelis nigra. Eight homeobox-containing fragments were amplified, belonging to the Hox, msh, NK-1 and NK-2 classes. Together with the results obtained from several genomes of platyhelminths, my screening shows the presence of the same array of homeodomain developmental regulators in planarians, traditionally regarded as primitive metazoans in terms of body plan, as in coelomate organisms. However, the presence of a Ubx/abd-A homolog may indicate that platyhelminths are more closely related to protostomes than to deuterostomes and supports the idea that flatworms have inherited an elaborate HOX cluster (seven or eight genes) from their ancestor. Likely homologs of the fly genes tinman, bagpipe and S59 suggest that the mesoderm might be patterned by the same genes in all bilaterally symmetrical animals. Finally, a msh-like gene, a family known to be involved in inductive mechanisms in vertebrates, has been found. These results support the hypothesis that the tremendous diversity of metazoan body plans is specified by a largely conserved array of homeobox-containing developmental genes. PMID:8628690

  2. Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study, Operable Unit 5, Elmendorf AFB, Anchorage, Alaska. Volume 2. Text and Appendices A - J

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1994-03-04

    w.o.h.c. Limnodrilus sp. Lixnnodrilus cf. hoffmeisteri Rhyacodri lus montana PLATYHELMINTHES . Turbel laria Tricladida ARTHOPODA Arachnoidea Hydracanina...sp. Lixunodrilus cf. hoffmeisteri Rhyacodrilus montana PLATYHELMINTHES Turbellaria Tricladida11 ARTHOPODA Arachnoidea Hydracarina1113 Crustacea...w.h.c. Tubificidae w.o.h.c. 2 2 Limnodrilus sp. Limnodrilus cf. hoffmeisteri Rhyacodri lus montana PLATYHELMINTHES Turbel laria Tricladida ARTHOPODA

  3. Reinforcing effects of methamphetamine in planarians.

    PubMed

    Kusayama, T; Watanabe, S

    2000-08-03

    Reinforcing properties of dopamine agonist, methamphetamine, for planarians were examined with the conditioned place preference (CPP) procedure. The planarians showed preference for the environment associated with methamphetamine administration. This reinforcing effect was antagonized by pretreatment with non-selective dopamine antagonist, haloperidol. Both selective D1 antagonist SCH23390 and selective D2 antagonist sulpiride also blocked the reinforcing effect of methamphetamine. These results suggest that reinforcing effects of dopaminergic drugs can be traced back to invertebrates such as planarians.

  4. A quantitative metabolomics peek into planarian regeneration.

    PubMed

    Natarajan, Nivedita; Ramakrishnan, Padma; Lakshmanan, Vairavan; Palakodeti, Dasaradhi; Rangiah, Kannan

    2015-05-21

    The fresh water planarian species Schmidtea mediterranea is an emerging stem cell model because of its capability to regenerate a whole animal from a small piece of tissue. It is one of the best model systems to address the basic mechanisms essential for regeneration. Here, we are interested in studying the roles of various amines, thiols and nucleotides in planarian regeneration, stem cell function and growth. We developed mass spectrometry based quantitative methods and validated the differential enrichment of 35 amines, 7 thiol metabolites and 4 nucleotides from both intact and regenerating planarians. Among the amines, alanine in sexual and asparagine in asexual are the highest (>1000 ng/mg) in the intact planarians. The levels of thiols such as cysteine and GSH are 651 and 1107 ng mg(-1) in planarians. Among the nucleotides, the level of cGMP is the lowest (0.03 ng mg(-1)) and the level of AMP is the highest (187 ng mg(-1)) in both of the planarian strains. We also noticed increasing levels of amines in both anterior and posterior regenerating planarians. The blastema from day 3 regenerating planarians also showed higher amounts of many amines. Interestingly, the thiol (cysteine and GSH) levels are well maintained during planarian regeneration. This suggests an inherent and effective mechanism to control induced oxidative stress because of the robust regeneration and stem cell proliferation. Like in intact planarians, the level of cGMP is also very low in regenerating planarians. Surprisingly, the levels of amines and thiols in head regenerating blastemas are ∼3 times higher compared to those for tail regenerating blastemas. Thus our results strongly indicate the potential roles of amines, thiols and nucleotides in planarian regeneration.

  5. Autophagy and apoptosis in planarians.

    PubMed

    González-Estévez, Cristina; Saló, Emili

    2010-03-01

    Adult planarians are capable of undergoing regeneration and body remodelling in order to adapt to physical damage or extreme environmental conditions. Moreover, most planarians can tolerate long periods of starvation and during this time, they shrink from an adult size to, and sometimes beyond, the initial size at hatching. Indeed, these properties have made them a classic model to study stem cells and regeneration. Under such stressful conditions, food reserves from the gastrodermis and parenchyma are first used up and later the testes, copulatory organs and ovaries are digested. More surprisingly, when food is again made available to shrunken individuals, they grow back to adult size and all their reproductive structures reappear. These cycles of growth and shrinkage may occur over long periods without any apparent impairment to the individual, or to its future maturation and breeding capacities. This plasticity resides in a mesoderm tissue known as the parenchyma, which is formed by several differentiated non-proliferating cell types and only one mitotically active cell type, the neoblasts, which represent approximately 20-30% of the cells in the parenchyma. Neoblasts are generally thought to be somatic stem-cells that participate in the normal continuous turnover of all cell types in planarians. Hence, planarians are organisms that continuously adapt their bodies (morphallaxis) to different environmental stresses (i.e.: injury or starvation). This adaptation involves a variety of processes including proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis and autophagy, all of which are perfectly orchestrated and tightly regulated to remodel or restore the body pattern. While neoblast biology and body re-patterning are currently the subject of intense research, apoptosis and autophagy remain much less studied. In this review we will summarize our current understanding and hypotheses regarding where and when apoptosis and autophagy occur and fulfil an essential role in

  6. Planarians, a tale of stem cells.

    PubMed

    Rossi, L; Salvetti, A; Batistoni, R; Deri, P; Gremigni, V

    2008-01-01

    Planarians possess amazing abilities to regulate tissue homeostasis and regenerate missing body parts. These features reside on the presence of a population of pluripotent/totipotent stem cells, the neoblasts, which are considered as the only planarian cells able to proliferate in the asexual strains. Neoblast distribution has been identified by mapping the cells incorporating bromodeoxyuridine, analyzing mitotic figures and using cell proliferation markers. Recently identified molecular markers specifically label subgroups of neoblasts, revealing thus the heterogeneity of the planarian stem cell population. Therefore, the apparent totipotency of neoblasts probably reflects the composite activities of multiple stem cell types. First steps have been undertaken to understand how neoblasts and differentiated cells communicate with each other to adapt the self-renewal and differentiation rates of neoblasts to the demands of the body. Moreover, the introduction of molecular resource database on planarians now paves the way to renewed strategies to understand planarian regeneration and stem cell-related issues.

  7. Cadmium neurotoxicity to a freshwater planarian.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jui-Pin; Lee, Hui-Ling; Li, Mei-Hui

    2014-11-01

    Although freshwater planarians are evolutionarily primitive, they are some of the simplest bilateral animals possessing integrated neural networks similar to those in vertebrates. We attempted to develop planarian Dugesia japonica as a model for investigating the neurotoxicity of environmental pollutants such as cadmium (Cd). This study was therefore designed to study the effects of Cd on the locomotor activity, neurobehavior, and neurological enzymes of D. japonica. After planarians were exposed to Cd at high concentrations, altered neurobehavior was observed that exhibited concentration-dependent patterns. Morphological alterations in Cd-treated planarians included irregular shape, body elongation, screw-like hyperkinesia, and bridge-like position. To study the direct effects of Cd on neurological enzymes, tissue homogenates of planarians were incubated in vitro with Cd before their activity was measured. Results showed that acetylcholinesterase (AChE), adenosine triphosphatase (ATPase), and monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A) activities were inhibited in a concentration-dependent manner. MAO-B activity was significantly induced by Cd at low concentrations and inhibited at high concentrations. Changes in the in vivo activity of AChE and ATPase were also found after planarians were treated with Cd at a sublethal concentration (5.56 μM). These observations indicate that neurotransmission systems in planarians are disturbed after Cd exposure.

  8. [Resources of regeneration in planarians].

    PubMed

    Sheĭman, I M; Sedel'nikov, Z V; Kreshchenko, N D

    2006-01-01

    We studied the intensity of blastema growth in operated planarians at an early stage of regeneration as a function of the following factors: area of regenerate and its function and number of regeneration foci (volume of regeneration). There was no direct dependence between the intensity of regeneration and the size of regenerating fragment, as well as the volume of regeneration. Some specific features of the early stage of regeneration have been described, which suggest its determinate character. The behavior of neoblasts during formation of blastemas with different localization is discussed.

  9. Dynamics of asexual reproduction in planarians

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schoetz, Eva-Maria; Lincoln, Bryan; Quinodoz, Sofia

    2011-03-01

    Planaria research is experiencing a resurgence due to the development of molecular tools, the Planarian genome project and database resources. Despite the resulting progress in planarian biology research, an extensive study of their physical properties remains to be undertaken. We developed a method to collect a large amount of data on the dynamics of clonal reproduction in the freshwater planarian S.mediterranea. The capability of planarians to regenerate an entire organism from a minuscule body part is based on a homogeneously distributed stem cell population that comprises 25-30% of all cells. Due to this stem cell contingent, planarians can reproduce spontaneously by dividing into a larger head and a smaller tail piece, which then will rebuild the missing body parts, including a central nervous system, within about a week. Time-lapse imaging allows us to characterize the fission process in detail, revealing the stages of the process as well as capturing the nature of the rupture itself. A traction force measurement setup is being developed to allow us to quantify the forces planarians exert on the substrate during reproduction, a macroscopic analog to the Traction Force Microscopy setups used to determine local cellular forces. We are particularly interested in the molecular processes during division and the interplay between tissue mechanics and cell signaling.

  10. Nociception and escape behavior in planarians

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schoetz Collins, Eva-Maria

    2015-03-01

    Planarians are famous and widely studied for their regenerative capabilities. When a moving planarian is cut through the middle, the resulting head and tail pieces instantaneously retract and exhibit a characteristic escape response that differs from normal locomotion. In asexual animals, a similar reaction is observed when the planarian undergoes fission, suggesting that reproduction through self-tearing is a rather traumatic event for the animal. Using a multiscale approach, we unravel the dynamics, mechanics, and functional aspects of the planarian escape response. This musculature-driven gait was found to be a dominating response that supersedes the urge to feed or reproduce and quantitatively differs from other modes of planarian locomotion (gliding, peristalsis). We show that this escape gait constitutes the animal's pain response mediated by TRP like receptors and the neurotransmitter histamine, and that it can be induced through adverse thermal, mechanical, electrical or chemical stimuli. Ultimately, we will examine the neuronal subpopulations involved in mediating escape reflexes in planarians and how they are functionally restored during regeneration, thereby gaining mechanistic insight into the neuronal circuits required for specific behaviors. Supported by BWF CASI and Sloan Foundation.

  11. Germ cell specification and regeneration in planarians.

    PubMed

    Newmark, P A; Wang, Y; Chong, T

    2008-01-01

    In metazoans, two apparently distinct mechanisms specify germ cell fate: Determinate specification (observed in animals including Drosophila, Caenorhabditis elegans, zebra fish, and Xenopus) uses cytoplasmic factors localized to specific regions of the egg, whereas epigenetic specification (observed in many basal metazoans, urodeles, and mammals) involves inductive interactions between cells. Much of our understanding of germ cell specification has emerged from studies of model organisms displaying determinate specification. In contrast, our understanding of epigenetic/inductive specification is less advanced and would benefit from studies of additional organisms. Freshwater planarians--widely known for their remarkable powers of regeneration--are well suited for studying the mechanisms by which germ cells can be induced. Classic experiments showed that planarians can regenerate germ cells from body fragments entirely lacking reproductive structures, suggesting that planarian germ cells could be specified by inductive signals. Furthermore, the availability of the genome sequence of the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea, coupled with the animal's susceptibility to systemic RNA interference (RNAi), facilitates functional genomic analyses of germ cell development and regeneration. Here, we describe recent progress in studies of planarian germ cells and frame some of the critical unresolved questions for future work.

  12. Lipid binding proteins from parasitic platyhelminthes.

    PubMed

    Alvite, Gabriela; Esteves, Adriana

    2012-01-01

    TWO MAIN FAMILIES OF LIPID BINDING PROTEINS HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED IN PARASITIC PLATYHELMINTHES: hydrophobic ligand binding proteins (HLBPs) and fatty acid binding proteins (FABPs). Members of the former family of proteins are specific to the Cestoda class, while FABPs are conserved across a wide range of animal species. Because Platyhelminthes are unable to synthesize their own lipids, these lipid-binding proteins are important molecules in these organisms. HLBPs are a high molecular mass complex of proteins and lipids. They are composed of subunits of low molecular mass proteins and a wide array of lipid molecules ranging from CoA esters to cholesterol. These proteins are excretory-secretory molecules and are key serological tools for diagnosis of diseases caused by cestodes. FABPs are mainly intracellular proteins of low molecular weight. They are also vaccine candidates. Despite that the knowledge of their function is scarce, the differences in their molecular organization, ligand preferences, intra/extracellular localization, evolution, and phylogenetic distribution, suggest that platyhelminths HLBPs and FABPs should play different functions. FABPs might be involved in the removal of fatty acids from the inner surface of the cell membrane and in their subsequent targeting to specific cellular destinations. In contrast, HLBPs might be involved in fatty acid uptake from the host environment.

  13. Centrosome loss in the evolution of planarians.

    PubMed

    Azimzadeh, Juliette; Wong, Mei Lie; Downhour, Diane Miller; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro; Marshall, Wallace F

    2012-01-27

    The centrosome, a cytoplasmic organelle formed by cylinder-shaped centrioles surrounded by a microtubule-organizing matrix, is a hallmark of animal cells. The centrosome is conserved and essential for the development of all animal species described so far. Here, we show that planarians, and possibly other flatworms, lack centrosomes. In planarians, centrioles are only assembled in terminally differentiating ciliated cells through the acentriolar pathway to trigger the assembly of cilia. We identified a large set of conserved proteins required for centriole assembly in animals and note centrosome protein families that are missing from the planarian genome. Our study uncovers the molecular architecture and evolution of the animal centrosome and emphasizes the plasticity of animal cell biology and development.

  14. [Regeneration processes in various species of planarians].

    PubMed

    Sheĭman, I M; Kreshchenko, N D; Netreba, M V

    2010-01-01

    Blastema growth and functional maturation of the pharynx during regeneration in various planarian species were compared. The intensity of blastema growth was highest in Polycelis tenuis; the lowest, in Schmidtea mediterranea. In the sexual and asexual races of Girardia tigrina blastema growth differed inconsiderably. The function of the pharynx during the regeneration of caudal fragments lacking pharynx was manifested in G. tigrina in the usual amount of time, while in the regeneration of head fragments lacking pharynx, this function occured earlier. In other planarian species of the other two typed, the times of pharynx regeneration had no regular character and took longer compared to the same process in G. tigrina.

  15. [Own Chemiluminescence of Planarian Neoblasts during Regeneration].

    PubMed

    Tiras, H P; Gudkov, S V; Emelyanenko, V I; Aslanidi, K B

    2015-01-01

    We investigated the kinetics of the luminescence induced by reactive oxygen species in planarians during regeneration process. It was found that regeneration is accompanied with changes in the concentration of reactive oxygen species correlating with energy-intensive processes such as oxidative stress, caused by damage to cell membranes in the dissection of the planarian, phagocytosis of dying cells and mitosis of neoblasts. We showed for the first time that there is an opportunity of registering the physiological state of pluripotent stem cells at the level of the organism in vivo.

  16. Planarian brain regeneration as a model system for developmental neurotoxicology

    PubMed Central

    Hagstrom, Danielle; Cochet‐Escartin, Olivier

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Freshwater planarians, famous for their regenerative prowess, have long been recognized as a valuable in vivo animal model to study the effects of chemical exposure. In this review, we summarize the current techniques and tools used in the literature to assess toxicity in the planarian system. We focus on the planarian's particular amenability for neurotoxicology and neuroregeneration studies, owing to the planarian's unique ability to regenerate a centralized nervous system. Zooming in from the organismal to the molecular level, we show that planarians offer a repertoire of morphological and behavioral readouts while also being amenable to mechanistic studies of compound toxicity. Finally, we discuss the open challenges and opportunities for planarian brain regeneration to become an important model system for modern toxicology. PMID:27499880

  17. Muscle cells provide instructions for planarian regeneration.

    PubMed

    Witchley, Jessica N; Mayer, Mirjam; Wagner, Daniel E; Owen, Jared H; Reddien, Peter W

    2013-08-29

    Regeneration requires both potential and instructions for tissue replacement. In planarians, pluripotent stem cells have the potential to produce all new tissue. The identities of the cells that provide regeneration instructions are unknown. Here, we report that position control genes (PCGs) that control regeneration and tissue turnover are expressed in a subepidermal layer of nonneoblast cells. These subepidermal cells coexpress many PCGs. We propose that these subepidermal cells provide a system of body coordinates and positional information for regeneration, and identify them to be muscle cells of the planarian body wall. Almost all planarian muscle cells express PCGs, suggesting a dual function: contraction and control of patterning. PCG expression is dynamic in muscle cells after injury, even in the absence of neoblasts, suggesting that muscle is instructive for regeneration. We conclude that planarian regeneration involves two highly flexible systems: pluripotent neoblasts that can generate any new cell type and muscle cells that provide positional instructions for the regeneration of any body region.

  18. Scrunching: a novel escape gait in planarians.

    PubMed

    Cochet-Escartin, Olivier; Mickolajczyk, Keith J; Collins, Eva-Maria S

    2015-09-10

    The ability to escape a predator or other life-threatening situations is central to animal survival. Different species have evolved unique strategies under anatomical and environmental constraints. In this study, we describe a novel musculature-driven escape gait in planarians, 'scrunching', which is quantitatively different from other planarian gaits, such as gliding and peristalsis. We show that scrunching is a conserved gait among different flatworm species, underlying its importance as an escape mechanism. We further demonstrate that it can be induced by a variety of physical stimuli, including amputation, high temperature, electric shock and low pH. We discuss the functional basis for scrunching as the preferential gait when gliding is impaired due to a disruption of mucus production. Finally, we show that the key mechanical features of scrunching are adequately captured by a simple biomechanical model that is solely based on experimental data from traction force microscopy and tissue rheology without fit parameters. Together, our results form a complete description of this novel form of planarian locomotion. Because scrunching has distinct dynamics, this gait can serve as a robust behavioral readout for studies of motor neuron and muscular functions in planarians and in particular the restoration of these functions during regeneration.

  19. Scrunching: a novel escape gait in planarians

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cochet-Escartin, Olivier; Mickolajczyk, Keith J.; Collins, Eva-Maria S.

    2015-10-01

    The ability to escape a predator or other life-threatening situations is central to animal survival. Different species have evolved unique strategies under anatomical and environmental constraints. In this study, we describe a novel musculature-driven escape gait in planarians, ‘scrunching’, which is quantitatively different from other planarian gaits, such as gliding and peristalsis. We show that scrunching is a conserved gait among different flatworm species, underlying its importance as an escape mechanism. We further demonstrate that it can be induced by a variety of physical stimuli, including amputation, high temperature, electric shock and low pH. We discuss the functional basis for scrunching as the preferential gait when gliding is impaired due to a disruption of mucus production. Finally, we show that the key mechanical features of scrunching are adequately captured by a simple biomechanical model that is solely based on experimental data from traction force microscopy and tissue rheology without fit parameters. Together, our results form a complete description of this novel form of planarian locomotion. Because scrunching has distinct dynamics, this gait can serve as a robust behavioral readout for studies of motor neuron and muscular functions in planarians and in particular the restoration of these functions during regeneration.

  20. [Specific features of eye regeneration in multiocular planarians Polycelis tenuis].

    PubMed

    Sheĭman, I M; Sedel'nikov, Z V

    2007-01-01

    Regeneration and negative phototaxis were studied in planarians Polycelis tenuis, in which the anterior body end is fringed with many eyes. Comparative data for the same indices are given for binocular planarians Girardia tigrina. Multiple eyes regenerated gradually with a decrease in the rate of regeneration and independently from the rate of restoration of the anterior body end, where they are located. Negative phototaxis was restored independently from the total amount of regenerated eyes. It was unstable in both planarian species.

  1. Comparative analysis of cystatin superfamily in platyhelminths.

    PubMed

    Guo, Aijiang

    2015-01-01

    The cystatin superfamily is comprised of cysteine proteinase inhibitors and encompasses at least 3 subfamilies: stefins, cystatins and kininogens. In this study, the platyhelminth cystatin superfamily was identified and grouped into stefin and cystatin subfamilies. The conserved domain of stefins (G, QxVxG) was observed in all members of platyhelminth stefins. The three characteristics of cystatins, the cystatin-like domain (G, QxVxG, PW), a signal peptide, and one or two conserved disulfide bonds, were observed in platyhelminths, with the exception of cestodes, which lacked the conserved disulfide bond. However, it is noteworthy that cestode cystatins had two tandem repeated domains, although the second tandem repeated domain did not contain a cystatin-like domain, which has not been previously reported. Tertiary structure analysis of Taenia solium cystatin, one of the cestode cystatins, demonstrated that the N-terminus of T. solium cystatin formed a five turn α-helix, a five stranded β-pleated sheet and a hydrophobic edge, similar to the structure of chicken cystatin. Although no conserved disulfide bond was found in T. solium cystatin, the models of T. solium cystatin and chicken cystatin corresponded at the site of the first disulfide bridge of the chicken cystatin. However, the two models were not similar regarding the location of the second disulfide bridge of chicken cystatin. These results showed that T. solium cystatin and chicken cystatin had similarities and differences, suggesting that the biochemistry of T. solium cystatin could be similar to chicken cystatin in its inhibitory function and that it may have further functional roles. The same results were obtained for other cestode cystatins. Phylogenetic analysis showed that cestode cystatins constituted an independent clade and implied that cestode cystatins should be considered to have formed a new clade during evolution.

  2. Linked thioredoxin-glutathione systems in platyhelminths.

    PubMed

    Salinas, Gustavo; Selkirk, Murray E; Chalar, Cora; Maizels, Rick M; Fernández, Cecilia

    2004-07-01

    The thioredoxin and glutathione systems play a central role in thiol-disulfide redox homeostasis in many organisms by providing electrons to essential enzymes, and defence against oxidative stress. These systems have recently been characterized in platyhelminth parasites, and the emerging biochemical scenario is the existence of linked processes with the enzyme thioredoxin glutathione reductase supplying reducing equivalents to both pathways. In contrast to their hosts, conventional thioredoxin reductase and glutathione reductase enzymes appear to be absent. Analysis of published data and expressed-sequence tag databases indicates the presence of linked thioredoxin-glutathione systems in the cytosolic and mitochondrial compartments of these parasites.

  3. A low percent ethanol method for immobilizing planarians.

    PubMed

    Stevenson, Claire G; Beane, Wendy Scott

    2010-12-14

    Planarians have recently become a popular model system for the study of adult stem cells, regeneration and polarity. The system is attractive for both undergraduate and graduate research labs, since planarian colonies are low cost and easy to maintain. Also in situ hybridization, immunofluorescence and RNA-interference (RNAi) gene knockdown techniques have been developed for planarian studies. However, imaging of live worms (particularly at high magnifications) is difficult because animals are strongly photophobic; they quickly move away from light sources and out of frame. The current methods available to inhibit movement in planarians include RNAi injection and exposure to cold temperatures. The former is labor and time intensive, while the latter precludes the use of many fluorescent reporter dyes. Here, we report a simple, inexpensive and reversible method to immobilize planarians for live imaging. Our data show that a short 1 hour treatment with 3% ethanol (EtOH) is sufficient to inhibit both the fine and gross movements of Schmidtea mediterranea planarians, of the typical size used (4-6 mm), with full recovery of movement within 3-4 hours. Importantly, EtOH treatment did not interfere with regeneration, even after repeated exposure, nor lyse epithelial cells (as assayed by H&E staining). We demonstrate that a short exposure to a low concentration of EtOH is a quick and effective method of immobilizing planarians, one that is easily adaptable to planarians of all sizes and will increase the accessibility of live imaging assays to planarian researchers.

  4. Germline Defects Caused by Smed-boule RNA-Interference Reveal That Egg Capsule Deposition Occurs Independently of Fertilization, Ovulation, Mating, or the Presence of Gametes in Planarian Flatworms

    PubMed Central

    Steiner, Jessica Kathryne; Tasaki, Junichi; Rouhana, Labib

    2016-01-01

    Few animals are known to lay eggs in the absence of ovulation or copulation, as it is presumably energetically wasteful and subjected to negative selection. Characterization of Smed-boule, a member of the DAZ family of germline RNA-binding proteins, revealed that egg capsule (or capsule) production and deposition occurs independently of the presence of gametes in the planarian flatworm Schmidtea mediterranea. Reduction of Smed-boule expression by RNA-interference (RNAi) causes ablation of spermatogonial stem cells and the inability of ovarian germline stem cells to undergo oogenesis. Although animals subjected to Smed-boule RNAi lose their gametes and become sterile, they continue to lay egg capsules. Production of sterile capsules is even observed in virgin Smed-boule(RNAi) and control planarians maintained in complete isolation, demonstrating that egg production in S. mediterranea occurs independently of ovulation, fertilization, or mating. Evidence suggests that this is a conserved feature amongst Platyhelminthes, and therefore relevant to the pathology and dissemination of parasitic flatworms. These findings demonstrate that Smed-boule functions at different stages during male and female germline stem cell development, and also demonstrate that egg capsule production by planarian flatworms occurs independently of signals produced by mating or ova. PMID:27149082

  5. Germline Defects Caused by Smed-boule RNA-Interference Reveal That Egg Capsule Deposition Occurs Independently of Fertilization, Ovulation, Mating, or the Presence of Gametes in Planarian Flatworms.

    PubMed

    Steiner, Jessica Kathryne; Tasaki, Junichi; Rouhana, Labib

    2016-05-01

    Few animals are known to lay eggs in the absence of ovulation or copulation, as it is presumably energetically wasteful and subjected to negative selection. Characterization of Smed-boule, a member of the DAZ family of germline RNA-binding proteins, revealed that egg capsule (or capsule) production and deposition occurs independently of the presence of gametes in the planarian flatworm Schmidtea mediterranea. Reduction of Smed-boule expression by RNA-interference (RNAi) causes ablation of spermatogonial stem cells and the inability of ovarian germline stem cells to undergo oogenesis. Although animals subjected to Smed-boule RNAi lose their gametes and become sterile, they continue to lay egg capsules. Production of sterile capsules is even observed in virgin Smed-boule(RNAi) and control planarians maintained in complete isolation, demonstrating that egg production in S. mediterranea occurs independently of ovulation, fertilization, or mating. Evidence suggests that this is a conserved feature amongst Platyhelminthes, and therefore relevant to the pathology and dissemination of parasitic flatworms. These findings demonstrate that Smed-boule functions at different stages during male and female germline stem cell development, and also demonstrate that egg capsule production by planarian flatworms occurs independently of signals produced by mating or ova.

  6. Hox genes from the Polystomatidae (Platyhelminthes, Monogenea).

    PubMed

    Badets, Mathieu; Verneau, Olivier

    2009-11-01

    Hox genes form a multigenic family that play a fundamental role during the early stages of development. They are organised in a single cluster and share a 60 amino acid conserved sequence that corresponds to the DNA binding domain, i.e. the homeodomain. Sequence conservation in this region has allowed investigators to explore Hox diversity in the metazoan lineages. Within parasitic flatworms only homeobox sequences of parasite species from the Cestoda and Digenea have been reported. In the present study we surveyed species of the Polyopisthocotylea (Monogenea) in order to clarify Hox identification and diversification processes in the neodermatan lineage. From cloning of degenerative PCR products of the central region of the homeobox, we report one ParaHox and 25 new Hox sequences from 10 species of the Polystomatidae and one species of the Diclidophoridae, which extend Hox gene diversity from 46 to 72 within Neodermata. Hox sequences from the Polyopisthocotylea were annotated and classified from sequence alignments and Bayesian inferences of 178 Hox, ParaHox and related gene families recovered from all available parasitic platyhelminths and other bilaterian taxa. Our results are discussed in the light of the recent Hox evolutionary schemes. They may provide new perspectives to study the transition from turbellarians to parasitic flatworms with complex life-cycles and outline the first steps for evolutionary developmental biological approaches within platyhelminth parasites.

  7. Cytogenetics and chromosomes of tapeworms (Platyhelminthes, Cestoda).

    PubMed

    Spakulová, Marta; Orosová, Martina; Mackiewicz, John S

    2011-01-01

    Tapeworms (Cestoda, Platyhelminthes) are a highly diversified group of parasites that can have significant veterinary importance as well as medical impact as disease agents of human alveococcosis, hydatidosis, taeniosis/cysticercosis/neurocysticercosis, hymenolepidosis or diphyllobothriasis. Because of their great diversity, there has been keen interest in their phylogenetic relationships to other obligate parasitic platyhelminthes, as well as within the group itself. Recent phylogenetic analyses of cestodes, however, have focused on morphological, molecular, life cycle, embryology and host-specificity features and conspicuously omitted inclusion of karyological data. Here we review the literature from 1907 to 2010 and the current status of knowledge of the chromosomes and cytogenetics within all of the cestode orders and place it within an evolutionary perspective. Karyological data are discussed and tabulated for 115 species from nine eucestode orders with ideograms of 46 species, and a comparison of cytogenetic patterns between acetabulate and bothriate cestode lineages is made. Attention is drawn to gaps in our knowledge for seven remaining orders and cestodarian groups Gyrocotylidea and Amphilinidea. Among the cytogenetic aspects covered are: chromosome number, triploidy, classical karyotype cytogenetics (banding patterns, karyotype asymmetry, secondary constrictions), as well as advanced karyotype techniques allowing location of genes on chromosomes by fluorescence in situ hybridization. We demonstrate that further progress in cestode karyosystematics rests with new molecular approaches and the application of advanced cytogenetic markers facilitating intimate karyotype analysis.

  8. Planarian immobilization, partial irradiation, and tissue transplantation.

    PubMed

    Guedelhoefer, Otto C; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro

    2012-08-06

    The planarian, a freshwater flatworm, has proven to be a powerful system for dissecting metazoan regeneration and stem cell biology. Planarian regeneration of any missing or damaged tissues is made possible by adult stem cells termed neoblasts. Although these stem cells have been definitively shown to be pluripotent and singularly capable of reconstituting an entire animal, the heterogeneity within the stem cell population and the dynamics of their cellular behaviors remain largely unresolved. Due to the large number and wide distribution of stem cells throughout the planarian body plan, advanced methods for manipulating subpopulations of stem cells for molecular and functional study in vivo are needed. Tissue transplantation and partial irradiation are two methods by which a subpopulation of planarian stem cells can be isolated for further study. Each technique has distinct advantages. Tissue transplantation allows for the introduction of stem cells, into a naïve host, that are either inherently genetically distinct or have been previously treated pharmacologically. Alternatively, partial irradiation allows for the isolation of stem cells within a host, juxtaposed to tissue devoid of stem cells, without the introduction of a wound or any breech in tissue integrity. Using these two methods, one can investigate the cell autonomous and non-autonomous factors that control stem cell functions, such as proliferation, differentiation, and migration. Both tissue transplantation and partial irradiation have been used historically in defining many of the questions about planarian regeneration that remain under study today. However, these techniques have remained underused due to the laborious and inconsistent nature of previous methods. The protocols presented here represent a large step forward in decreasing the time and effort necessary to reproducibly generate large numbers of grafted or partially irradiated animals with efficacies approaching 100 percent. We cover the

  9. Planarian Immobilization, Partial Irradiation, and Tissue Transplantation

    PubMed Central

    Guedelhoefer IV, Otto C.; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro

    2012-01-01

    The planarian, a freshwater flatworm, has proven to be a powerful system for dissecting metazoan regeneration and stem cell biology1,2. Planarian regeneration of any missing or damaged tissues is made possible by adult stem cells termed neoblasts3. Although these stem cells have been definitively shown to be pluripotent and singularly capable of reconstituting an entire animal4, the heterogeneity within the stem cell population and the dynamics of their cellular behaviors remain largely unresolved. Due to the large number and wide distribution of stem cells throughout the planarian body plan, advanced methods for manipulating subpopulations of stem cells for molecular and functional study in vivo are needed. Tissue transplantation and partial irradiation are two methods by which a subpopulation of planarian stem cells can be isolated for further study. Each technique has distinct advantages. Tissue transplantation allows for the introduction of stem cells, into a naïve host, that are either inherently genetically distinct or have been previously treated pharmacologically. Alternatively, partial irradiation allows for the isolation of stem cells within a host, juxtaposed to tissue devoid of stem cells, without the introduction of a wound or any breech in tissue integrity. Using these two methods, one can investigate the cell autonomous and non-autonomous factors that control stem cell functions, such as proliferation, differentiation, and migration. Both tissue transplantation5,6 and partial irradiation7 have been used historically in defining many of the questions about planarian regeneration that remain under study today. However, these techniques have remained underused due to the laborious and inconsistent nature of previous methods. The protocols presented here represent a large step forward in decreasing the time and effort necessary to reproducibly generate large numbers of grafted or partially irradiated animals with efficacies approaching 100 percent. We

  10. Collecting Planarians: A Good Choice for a Field Trip.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cha, Heeyoung

    2001-01-01

    Describes a field trip to collect planarians as successful in generating interest in the sciences. This activity is suitable for all grade levels as a field trip or biology lab. Planarians can be easily collected from streams across the United States. Once in the classroom, planaria are easily fed and cared for. (SAH)

  11. The Electrical Response of the Planarian Ocellus

    PubMed Central

    Brown, H. Mack; Ogden, Thomas E.

    1968-01-01

    The planarian ocellar potential (OP), an action potential evoked from the planarian ocellus by a light flash, was recorded with microelectrodes. OP amplitude, latency, and peak delay varied as a function of stimulus intensity and state of adaptation in a manner similar to the responses of other photoreceptors. Changes in the OP that occurred with different directions of incident light are described and attributed to screening effects of the ocellar pigment cells. The temperature coefficient (Q10) of OP latency was 1.5; latency decreased continuously as temperature was increased to destructive levels. The energy of activation of the rate of OP formation was calculated to approximate 10 kcal. These findings suggest dependence of OP latency on ionic diffusion and of OP formation on a biocatalytic process. PMID:5641637

  12. Evolution and regeneration of the planarian central nervous system.

    PubMed

    Umesono, Yoshihiko; Agata, Kiyokazu

    2009-04-01

    More than 100 years ago, early workers realized that planarians offer an excellent system for regeneration studies. Another unique aspect of planarians is that they occupy an interesting phylogenetic position with respect to the nervous system in that they possess an evolutionarily primitive brain structure and can regenerate a functional brain from almost any tiny body fragment. Recent molecular studies have revisited planarian regeneration and revealed key information about the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying brain regeneration in planarians. One of our great advances was identification of a gene, nou-darake, which directs the formation of a proper extrinsic environment for pluripotent stem cells to differentiate into brain cells in the planarian Dugesia japonica. Our recent findings have provided mechanistic insights into stem cell biology and also evolutionary biology.

  13. Recent identification of an ERK signal gradient governing planarian regeneration.

    PubMed

    Agata, Kiyokazu; Tasaki, Junichi; Nakajima, Elizabeth; Umesono, Yoshihiko

    2014-06-01

    Planarians have strong regenerative abilities derived from their adult pluripotent stem cell (neoblast) system. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in planarian regeneration have long remained a mystery. In particular, no anterior-specifying factor(s) could be found, although Wnt family proteins had been successfully identified as posterior-specifying factors during planarian regeneration (Gurley et al., 2008; Petersen and Reddien, 2008). A recent textbook of developmental biology therefore proposes a Wnt antagonist as a putative anterior factor (Gilbert, 2013). That is, planarian regeneration was supposed to be explained by a single decreasing gradient of the β-catenin signal from tail to head. However, recently we succeeded in demonstrating that in fact the extracellular-signal regulated kinases (ERK) form a decreasing gradient from head to tail to direct the reorganization of planarian body regionality after amputation (Umesono et al., 2013).

  14. Analyzing pERK Activation During Planarian Regeneration.

    PubMed

    Fraguas, Susanna; Umesono, Yoshihiko; Agata, Kiyokazu; Cebrià, Francesc

    2017-01-01

    Planarians are an ideal model in which to study stem cell-based regeneration. After amputation, planarian pluripotent stem cells surrounding the wound proliferate to produce the regenerative blastema, in which they differentiate into the missing tissues and structures. Recent independent studies in planarians have shown that Smed-egfr-3, a gene encoding a homologue of epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptors, and DjerkA, which encodes an extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), may control cell differentiation and blastema growth. However, because these studies were carried in two different planarian species, the relationship between these two genes remains unclear. We have optimized anti-pERK immunostaining in Schmidtea mediterranea using the original protocol developed in Dugesia japonica. Both protocols are reported here as most laboratories worldwide work with one of these two species. Using this protocol we have determined that Smed-egfr-3 appears to be necessary for pERK activation during planarian regeneration.

  15. On-chip immobilization of planarians for in vivo imaging.

    PubMed

    Dexter, Joseph P; Tamme, Mary B; Lind, Christine H; Collins, Eva-Maria S

    2014-09-17

    Planarians are an important model organism for regeneration and stem cell research. A complete understanding of stem cell and regeneration dynamics in these animals requires time-lapse imaging in vivo, which has been difficult to achieve due to a lack of tissue-specific markers and the strong negative phototaxis of planarians. We have developed the Planarian Immobilization Chip (PIC) for rapid, stable immobilization of planarians for in vivo imaging without injury or biochemical alteration. The chip is easy and inexpensive to fabricate, and worms can be mounted for and removed after imaging within minutes. We show that the PIC enables significantly higher-stability immobilization than can be achieved with standard techniques, allowing for imaging of planarians at sub-cellular resolution in vivo using brightfield and fluorescence microscopy. We validate the performance of the PIC by performing time-lapse imaging of planarian wound closure and sequential imaging over days of head regeneration. We further show that the device can be used to immobilize Hydra, another photophobic regenerative model organism. The simple fabrication, low cost, ease of use, and enhanced specimen stability of the PIC should enable its broad application to in vivo studies of stem cell and regeneration dynamics in planarians and Hydra.

  16. On-chip immobilization of planarians for in vivo imaging

    PubMed Central

    Dexter, Joseph P.; Tamme, Mary B.; Lind, Christine H.; Collins, Eva-Maria S.

    2014-01-01

    Planarians are an important model organism for regeneration and stem cell research. A complete understanding of stem cell and regeneration dynamics in these animals requires time-lapse imaging in vivo, which has been difficult to achieve due to a lack of tissue-specific markers and the strong negative phototaxis of planarians. We have developed the Planarian Immobilization Chip (PIC) for rapid, stable immobilization of planarians for in vivo imaging without injury or biochemical alteration. The chip is easy and inexpensive to fabricate, and worms can be mounted for and removed after imaging within minutes. We show that the PIC enables significantly higher-stability immobilization than can be achieved with standard techniques, allowing for imaging of planarians at sub-cellular resolution in vivo using brightfield and fluorescence microscopy. We validate the performance of the PIC by performing time-lapse imaging of planarian wound closure and sequential imaging over days of head regeneration. We further show that the device can be used to immobilize Hydra, another photophobic regenerative model organism. The simple fabrication, low cost, ease of use, and enhanced specimen stability of the PIC should enable its broad application to in vivo studies of stem cell and regeneration dynamics in planarians and Hydra. PMID:25227263

  17. A new species of the genus Bothrioplana (Platyhelminthes: Bothrioplanida: Bothrioplanidae) and a new species of the genus Pentacoelum (Tricladida: Bdellouridae) from southern China.

    PubMed

    He, Yi; Zhao, Jia-Qi; Ning, Wan-Ru; Zhuang, Jie-Yi; Zhang, Yu; Wang, An-Tai

    2016-10-31

    Two new species of turbellarians, Bothrioplana sinensis n. sp., and Pentacoelum sinensis n. sp., were described based on their reproductive behavior, ontogenic development, morphology in whole-mounted and sectioned specimens, and 18S rDNA phylogenetic classification. Bothrioplana sinensis n. sp. represents a newly recorded order in China and the second identified species in the genus Bothrioplana. It is characterized by a pair of spherical-shaped well-developed testes located dorsally behind the pharynx, and the common vas deference located ventrally to the gonopore. Phylogenetic analysis showed that this new species is closely related to parasitic flatworms. Pentacoelum sinensis n. sp. is characterized by two uteri instead of lateral bursae located laterally near the tail end and a lack of connection between the posterior intestinal branches. Each uterus has a ventral receptaculum seminalis (also functioning as bursa copulatrix) which has a muscular vagina externa opening obliquely to the ventral side at the tail end.

  18. Identification of planarian homeobox sequences indicates the antiquity of most Hox/homeotic gene subclasses.

    PubMed Central

    Balavoine, G; Telford, M J

    1995-01-01

    The homeotic gene complex (HOM-C) is a cluster of genes involved in the anteroposterior axial patterning of animal embryos. It is composed of homeobox genes belonging to the Hox/HOM superclass. Originally discovered in Drosophila, Hox/HOM genes have been identified in organisms as distantly related as arthropods, vertebrates, nematodes, and cnidarians. Data obtained in parallel from the organization of the complex, the domains of gene expression during embryogenesis, and phylogenetic relationships allow the subdivision of the Hox/HOM superclass into five classes (lab, pb/Hox3, Dfd, Antp, and Abd-B) that appeared early during metazoan evolution. We describe a search for homologues of these genes in platyhelminths, triploblast metazoans emerging as an outgroup to the great coelomate ensemble. A degenerate PCR screening for Hox/HOM homeoboxes in three species of triclad planarians has revealed 10 types of Antennapedia-like genes. The homeobox-containing sequences of these PCR fragments allowed the amplification of the homeobox-coding exons for five of these genes in the species Polycelis nigra. A phylogenetic analysis shows that two genes are clear orthologues of Drosophila labial, four others are members of a Dfd/Antp superclass, and a seventh gene, although more difficult to classify with certainty, may be related to the pb/Hox3 class. Together with previously identified Hox/HOM genes in other flatworms, our analyses demonstrate the existence of an elaborate family of Hox/HOM genes in the ancestor of all triploblast animals. Images Fig. 4 PMID:7638172

  19. Berberine exposure triggers developmental effects on planarian regeneration.

    PubMed

    Balestrini, Linda; Isolani, Maria Emilia; Pietra, Daniele; Borghini, Alice; Bianucci, Anna Maria; Deri, Paolo; Batistoni, Renata

    2014-05-09

    The mechanisms of action underlying the pharmacological properties of the natural alkaloid berberine still need investigation. Planarian regeneration is instrumental in deciphering developmental responses following drug exposure. Here we report the effects of berberine on regeneration in the planarian Dugesia japonica. Our findings demonstrate that this compound perturbs the regenerative pattern. By real-time PCR screening for the effects of berberine exposure on gene expression, we identified alterations in the transcriptional profile of genes representative of different tissues, as well as of genes involved in extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling. Although berberine does not influence cell proliferation/apoptosis, our experiments prove that this compound causes abnormal regeneration of the planarian visual system. Potential berberine-induced cytotoxic effects were noticed in the intestine. Although we were unable to detect abnormalities in other structures, our findings, sustained by RNAi-based investigations, support the possibility that berberine effects are critically linked to anomalous ECM remodeling in treated planarians.

  20. Berberine exposure triggers developmental effects on planarian regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Balestrini, Linda; Isolani, Maria Emilia; Pietra, Daniele; Borghini, Alice; Bianucci, Anna Maria; Deri, Paolo; Batistoni, Renata

    2014-01-01

    The mechanisms of action underlying the pharmacological properties of the natural alkaloid berberine still need investigation. Planarian regeneration is instrumental in deciphering developmental responses following drug exposure. Here we report the effects of berberine on regeneration in the planarian Dugesia japonica. Our findings demonstrate that this compound perturbs the regenerative pattern. By real-time PCR screening for the effects of berberine exposure on gene expression, we identified alterations in the transcriptional profile of genes representative of different tissues, as well as of genes involved in extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling. Although berberine does not influence cell proliferation/apoptosis, our experiments prove that this compound causes abnormal regeneration of the planarian visual system. Potential berberine-induced cytotoxic effects were noticed in the intestine. Although we were unable to detect abnormalities in other structures, our findings, sustained by RNAi-based investigations, support the possibility that berberine effects are critically linked to anomalous ECM remodeling in treated planarians. PMID:24810466

  1. Bioaccumulation and toxicodynamics of cadmium to freshwater planarian and the protective effect of N-acetylcysteine.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jui-Pin; Chen, Hon-Cheng; Li, Mei-Hui

    2012-08-01

    Although toxic responses of freshwater planarians after exposure to environmental toxicants can be observed through external toxicological end points, physiological responses inside the bodies of treated planarians have rarely been investigated. The present study was designed, using cadmium (Cd) as a reference toxicant, to determine its bioaccumulation and toxicodynamics in the freshwater planarian, Dugesia japonica, after acute toxicity was obtained. Accumulated Cd concentrations, metallothionein levels, and the oxidative status in planarians were determined after exposure to Cd. Furthermore, we hypothesized that the acute death of Cd-treated planarians was associated with increased oxidative stress. After Cd-treated planarians were coexposed to antioxidant, N-acetylcysteine (NAC), we found that NAC protected planarians from Cd lethality by maintaining the oxidative status and decreasing the bioaccumulation of Cd. The results of the present study support planarians being used as a practical model for toxicological studies of environmental contaminants in the future.

  2. The Retinoblastoma pathway regulates stem cell proliferation in freshwater planarians.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Shu Jun; Pearson, Bret J

    2013-01-15

    Freshwater planarians are flatworms of the Lophotrochozoan superphylum and are well known for their regenerative abilities, which rely on a large population of pluripotent adult stem cells. However, the mechanisms by which planarians maintain a precise population of adult stem cells while balancing proliferation and cell death, remain to be elucidated. Here we have identified, characterized, and functionally tested the core Retinoblastoma (Rb) pathway components in planarian adult stem cell biology. The Rb pathway is an ancient and conserved mechanism of proliferation control from plants to animals and is composed of three core components: an Rb protein, and a transcription factor heterodimer of E2F and DP proteins. Although the planarian genome contains all components of the Rb pathway, we found that they have undergone gene loss from the ancestral state, similar to other species in their phylum. The single Rb homolog (Smed-Rb) was highly expressed in planarian stem cells and was required for stem cell maintenance, similar to the Rb-homologs p107 and p130 in vertebrates. We show that planarians and their phylum have undergone the most severe reduction in E2F genes observed thus far, and the single remaining E2F was predicted to be a repressive-type E2F (Smed-E2F4-1). Knockdown of either Smed-E2F4-1 or its dimerization partner Dp (Smed-Dp) by RNAi resulted in temporary hyper-proliferation. Finally, we showed that known Rb-interacting genes in other systems, histone deacetylase 1 and cyclinD (Smed-HDAC1; Smed-cycD), were similar to Rb in expression and phenotypes when knocked down by RNAi, suggesting that these established interactions with Rb may also be conserved in planarians. Together, these results showed that planarians use the conserved components of the Rb tumor suppressor pathway to control proliferation and cell survival.

  3. Stem cells and regeneration in planarians.

    PubMed

    Handberg-Thorsager, Mette; Fernandez, Enrique; Salo, Emili

    2008-05-01

    Understanding stem cells is a major goal of current research because of its potential medical applications. Although great advances have been made, such as the culturing and differentiation of embryonic stem cells and reprogramming of cell fates, many basic questions remain unanswered. Describing the mechanisms underlying regeneration will help to understand the biology of stem cells and therefore to control their behavior. While regeneration is being studied in a variety of models, the planarian is particularly noteworthy. In this model system a fragment as small as 1/279 of the animal can regenerate completely within a few weeks. These animals can also grow and degrow--specifically degenerating certain tissues--according to environmental conditions, thus demonstrating a complete control of their stem cell dynamics. However, one of the most interesting aspects of the planarian model system is the presence of a unique type of stem cell that can differentiate into all cell types found in the organism, including the germ line. This represents a simple, extremely powerful, and accessible stem cell system in which to address a variety of important questions. In the last ten years, molecular, cellular, and bioinformatics tools have been established for use in this model, making it ideally placed for in vivo analysis of stem cells in their natural environment without ethical complications.

  4. Temporal regulation of planarian eye regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Deochand, Michelle E.; Birkholz, Taylor R.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract While tissue regeneration is typically studied using standard injury models, in nature injuries vary greatly in the amount and location of tissues lost. Planarians have the unique ability to regenerate from many different injuries (including from tiny fragments with no brain), allowing us to study the effects of different injuries on regeneration timelines. We followed the timing of regeneration for one organ, the eye, after multiple injury types that involved tissue loss (single‐ and double‐eye ablation, and decapitation) in Schmidtea mediterranea. Our data reveal that the timing of regeneration remained constant despite changing injury parameters. Optic tissue regrowth, nerve re‐innervation, and functional recovery were similar between injury types (even when the animal was simultaneously regrowing its brain). Changes in metabolic rate (i.e., starving vs. fed regenerates) also had no effect on regeneration timelines. In addition, our data suggest there may exist a role for optic nerve degeneration following eye ablation. Our results suggest that the temporal regulation of planarian eye regeneration is tightly controlled and resistant to variations in injury type. PMID:27800171

  5. Planarians in pharmacology: parthenolide is a specific behavioral antagonist of cocaine in the planarian Girardia tigrina.

    PubMed

    Pagán, Oné R; Baker, Debra; Deats, Sean; Montgomery, Erica; Tenaglia, Matthew; Randolph, Clinita; Kotturu, Dharini; Tallarida, Christopher; Bach, Daniel; Wilk, Galia; Rawls, Scott; Raffa, Robert B

    2012-01-01

    Planarians are traditional animal models in developmental and regeneration biology. Recently, these organisms are arising as vertebrate-relevant animal models in neuropharmacology. Using an adaptation of published behavioral protocols, we have described the alleviation of cocaine-induced planarian seizure-like movements (pSLM) by a naturally-occurring sesquiterpene lactone, parthenolide. Interestingly, parthenolide does not prevent the expression of pSLM induced by amphetamines; in vertebrates, amphetamines interact with the same protein target as cocaine. Parthenolide is also unable to prevent pSLM elicited by the cholinergic com-pounds nicotine and cytisine or by the glutamatergic agents L- or D- glutamic acid or NMDA. Thus, we conclude that parthenolide is a specific anti-cocaine agent in this experimental organism.

  6. [The molecular genetic typification of planarians in the genus Bdellocephala (Dendrocoelidae, Tricladida, Turbellaria) from Lake Baikal with an assessment of their species diversity].

    PubMed

    Kuznedelov, K D; Novikova, O A; Naumova, T V

    2000-01-01

    Baikal planaria from genus Bdellocephala were typified using rDNA locus coding 5'--end domain of 18S ribosome RNA. Five colour forms of 24 possible variants that differ in diapason 0-1.3% of genotype were determined by comparative analysis of nucleotide sequences. The authors use back colour--one of the most variable and typical character in the given group--to collect material for investigation. It allows to minimize the size of investigation sample and at the same time to cover maximum variability of Bdellocephala. One of the positive result of molecular typification of colour forms was a discovery of unique individuals that belong to new species. Karyological analysis of colour forms shows variations in chromosome numbers that divide planaria into 3 groups (2n = 20, 24, 26). Comparative analysis of morphological and ecological characters and karyotypes of some forms united by the same genotype allows to distinguish them as separate species. Criteria of modern phenetic system of Baikal planaria are discussed.

  7. Slo1 regulates ethanol-induced scrunching in freshwater planarians.

    PubMed

    Cochet-Escartin, Olivier; Carter, Jason A; Chakraverti-Wuerthwein, Milena; Sinha, Joydeb; Collins, Eva-Maria S

    2016-09-09

    When freshwater planarians are exposed to a low-percentage (0.5%-1%) alcohol solution, they display a characteristic 'drunken' phenotype. Here we show that this drunken phenotype is a mixture of cilia-mediated gliding and scrunching, a muscular-based planarian gait which we recently demonstrated to be triggered by adverse environmental stimuli. At exogenous ethanol concentrations ≥2% (v/v), planarians become gradually immobilized and ultimately die. Using RNA interference (RNAi) for targeted gene knockdown, we elucidate the molecular basis for ethanol sensing and show that the big potassium ion channel SLO1 is necessary for ethanol sensitivity in planarians. Because slo1(RNAi) animals maintain their ability to scrunch in response to other adverse triggers, these results suggest that slo1 specifically regulates ethanol sensitivity and not the scrunching gait per se. Furthermore, this study demonstrates the ease of performing pharmacological studies in planarians. Combined with the worms' amenability to quantitative behavioral assays and targeted gene knockdown, planarians are a valuable model organism for studying the effect of neuroactive compounds on brain function and behavior.

  8. Toxicity of tributyltin (TBT) to the freshwater planarian Schmidtea mediterranea.

    PubMed

    Ofoegbu, Pearl U; Simão, Fátima C P; Cruz, Andreia; Mendo, Sónia; Soares, Amadeu M V M; Pestana, João L T

    2016-04-01

    The freshwater planarian Schmidtea mediterranea, one of the best characterized animal models for regeneration research and developmental biology, is being recognised as a useful species for ecotoxicological studies. Sensitive endpoints related to planarians' behaviour and regeneration can be easily evaluated after exposure to environmental stressors. In this work the sensitivity of S. mediterranea to a gradient of environmentally relevant concentrations of TBT was studied using multiple endpoints like survival, locomotion, head regeneration and DNA damage. In addition, a feeding assay based on planarian's predatory behaviour was performed. Results indicated that TBT is toxic to planarians with LC50's of 1.87 μg L(-1) Sn and 1.31 μg L(-1) Sn at 48 h and 96 h of exposure respectively. Sub-lethal exposures to TBT significantly reduced locomotion and feeding, delayed head regeneration and caused DNA damage in planarians. The behavioural endpoints (feeding and locomotion) and head regeneration were the most sensitive parameters followed by DNA damage. Similar to other aquatic model organisms, S. mediterranea showed high sensitivity towards TBT exposure. Based on our results, and though further research is required concerning their sensitivity to other pollutants, the use of freshwater planarians as a model species in ecotoxicology is discussed.

  9. Slo1 regulates ethanol-induced scrunching in freshwater planarians

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cochet-Escartin, Olivier; Carter, Jason A.; Chakraverti-Wuerthwein, Milena; Sinha, Joydeb; Collins, Eva-Maria S.

    2016-10-01

    When freshwater planarians are exposed to a low-percentage (0.5%-1%) alcohol solution, they display a characteristic ‘drunken’ phenotype. Here we show that this drunken phenotype is a mixture of cilia-mediated gliding and scrunching, a muscular-based planarian gait which we recently demonstrated to be triggered by adverse environmental stimuli. At exogenous ethanol concentrations ≥2% (v/v), planarians become gradually immobilized and ultimately die. Using RNA interference (RNAi) for targeted gene knockdown, we elucidate the molecular basis for ethanol sensing and show that the big potassium ion channel SLO1 is necessary for ethanol sensitivity in planarians. Because slo1(RNAi) animals maintain their ability to scrunch in response to other adverse triggers, these results suggest that slo1 specifically regulates ethanol sensitivity and not the scrunching gait per se. Furthermore, this study demonstrates the ease of performing pharmacological studies in planarians. Combined with the worms’ amenability to quantitative behavioral assays and targeted gene knockdown, planarians are a valuable model organism for studying the effect of neuroactive compounds on brain function and behavior.

  10. Neuropharmacology and behavior in planarians: translations to mammals.

    PubMed

    Buttarelli, Francesca R; Pellicano, Clelia; Pontieri, Francesco E

    2008-05-01

    Planarians are the simplest animals to exhibit a body plan common to all vertebrates and many invertebrates, characterized by bilateral rather than radial symmetry, dorsal and ventral surfaces, and a rostrocaudal axis with a head and a tail, including specialized sense organs and an aggregate of nerve cells in the head. Neurons in planarian more closely resemble those of vertebrates than those of advanced invertebrates, exhibiting typical vertebrate features of multipolar shape, dendritic spines with synaptic boutons, a single axon, expression of vertebrate-like neural proteins, and relatively low spontaneously generated electrical activity. Here we report the most relevant contribution to the knowledge of the neuropharmacology of planarians, with particular reference to the behavioral consequences of the exposure to drugs acting on neural transmission. Neurochemical and histochemical data indicate the presence of several neurotransmitter-receptor systems in planarians. Moreover, a variety of experimental studies characterized specific behavioral patterns of these animals following the exposure to drugs acting on neural transmission. There is also evidence of the interactions between discrete neurotransmitter-receptor systems in modulating behavior in planarians. Finally, the model has proved efficacy for investigating the neurotoxicology of the dopamine neurons, and for the initial screening of the neuroprotective potential of drugs. In conclusion, these findings indicate that interactions between discrete neurotransmitter-receptor systems occur very early along phylogeny, although they may have evolved from very fundamental behaviors, such as motor activity in planarian, to more complex and integrated functions in vertebrates.

  11. GPCRs Direct Germline Development and Somatic Gonad Function in Planarians

    PubMed Central

    Saberi, Amir; Beets, Isabel; Schoofs, Liliane; Newmark, Phillip A.

    2016-01-01

    Planarians display remarkable plasticity in maintenance of their germline, with the ability to develop or dismantle reproductive tissues in response to systemic and environmental cues. Here, we investigated the role of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) in this dynamic germline regulation. By genome-enabled receptor mining, we identified 566 putative planarian GPCRs and classified them into conserved and phylum-specific subfamilies. We performed a functional screen to identify NPYR-1 as the cognate receptor for NPY-8, a neuropeptide required for sexual maturation and germ cell differentiation. Similar to NPY-8, knockdown of this receptor results in loss of differentiated germ cells and sexual maturity. NPYR-1 is expressed in neuroendocrine cells of the central nervous system and can be activated specifically by NPY-8 in cell-based assays. Additionally, we screened the complement of GPCRs with expression enriched in sexually reproducing planarians, and identified an orphan chemoreceptor family member, ophis, that controls differentiation of germline stem cells (GSCs). ophis is expressed in somatic cells of male and female gonads, as well as in accessory reproductive tissues. We have previously shown that somatic gonadal cells are required for male GSC specification and maintenance in planarians. However, ophis is not essential for GSC specification or maintenance and, therefore, defines a secondary role for planarian gonadal niche cells in promoting GSC differentiation. Our studies uncover the complement of planarian GPCRs and reveal previously unappreciated roles for these receptors in systemic and local (i.e., niche) regulation of germ cell development. PMID:27163480

  12. Toxic effects of selenium and copper on the planarian, Dugesia dorotocephala

    SciTech Connect

    Rauscher, J.D.

    1988-01-01

    Aquatic toxicologists have become increasingly concerned with the effects of sublethal concentrations of toxicants on aquatic organisms. Sublethal effects of toxicants on freshwater invertebrates were reviewed. Selenium (Se) and copper (Cu) are both essential trace elements and toxicants. Se has been reported to alter the toxicity of heavy metals. Planarians, Dugesia dorotocephala, were used as test animals. The objectives of this study were to determine: (1) acute toxicity of Se on planarians and the effect of the number of planarians per test chamber, (2) interaction of the acute toxicity of Se and Cu on planarians, and (3) sublethal effects of Se and Cu on planarians.

  13. Pharmacological assessment of methamphetamine-induced behavioral hyperactivity mediated by dopaminergic transmission in planarian Dugesia japonica.

    PubMed

    Tashiro, Natsuka; Nishimura, Kaneyasu; Daido, Kanako; Oka, Tomoe; Todo, Mio; Toshikawa, Asami; Tsushima, Jun; Takata, Kazuyuki; Ashihara, Eishi; Yoshimoto, Kanji; Agata, Kiyokazu; Kitamura, Yoshihisa

    2014-07-11

    The freshwater planarian Dugesia japonica has a simple central nervous system (CNS) and can regenerate complete organs, even a functional brain. Recent studies demonstrated that there is a great variety of neuronal-related genes, specifically expressed in several domains of the planarian brain. We identified a planarian dat gene, named it D. japonica dopamine transporter (Djdat), and analyzed its expression and function. Both in situ hybridization and immunofluorescence revealed that localization of Djdat mRNA and protein was the same as that of D. japonica tyrosine hydroxylase (DjTH). Although, dopamine (DA) content in Djdat(RNAi) planarians was not altered, Djdat(RNAi) planarians showed increased spontaneous locomotion. The hyperactivity in the Djdat(RNAi) planarians was significantly suppressed by SCH23390 or sulpiride pretreatment, which are D1 or D2 receptor antagonists, respectively. These results suggest that planarians have a Djdat ortholog and the ability to regulate dopaminergic neurotransmission and association with spontaneous locomotion.

  14. Neuronal sources of hedgehog modulate neurogenesis in the adult planarian brain.

    PubMed

    Currie, Ko W; Molinaro, Alyssa M; Pearson, Bret J

    2016-11-19

    The asexual freshwater planarian is a constitutive adult, whose central nervous system (CNS) is in a state of constant homeostatic neurogenesis. However, very little is known about the extrinsic signals that act on planarian stem cells to modulate rates of neurogenesis. We have identified two planarian homeobox transcription factors, Smed-nkx2.1 and Smed-arx, which are required for the maintenance of cholinergic, GABAergic, and octopaminergic neurons in the planarian CNS. These very same neurons also produce the planarian hedgehog ligand (Smed-hh), which appears to communicate with brain-adjacent stem cells to promote normal levels of neurogenesis. Planarian stem cells nearby the brain express core hh signal transduction genes, and consistent hh signaling levels are required to maintain normal production of neural progenitor cells and new mature cholinergic neurons, revealing an important mitogenic role for the planarian hh signaling molecule in the adult CNS.

  15. Hedgehog signaling regulates gene expression in planarian glia

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Irving E; Lapan, Sylvain W; Scimone, M Lucila; Clandinin, Thomas R; Reddien, Peter W

    2016-01-01

    Hedgehog signaling is critical for vertebrate central nervous system (CNS) development, but its role in CNS biology in other organisms is poorly characterized. In the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea, hedgehog (hh) is expressed in medial cephalic ganglia neurons, suggesting a possible role in CNS maintenance or regeneration. We performed RNA sequencing of planarian brain tissue following RNAi of hh and patched (ptc), which encodes the Hh receptor. Two misregulated genes, intermediate filament-1 (if-1) and calamari (cali), were expressed in a previously unidentified non-neural CNS cell type. These cells expressed orthologs of astrocyte-associated genes involved in neurotransmitter uptake and metabolism, and extended processes enveloping regions of high synapse concentration. We propose that these cells are planarian glia. Planarian glia were distributed broadly, but only expressed if-1 and cali in the neuropil near hh+ neurons. Planarian glia and their regulation by Hedgehog signaling present a novel tractable system for dissection of glia biology. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.16996.001 PMID:27612382

  16. Motility recovery during the process of regeneration in freshwater planarians.

    PubMed

    Kato, Chihiro; Mihashi, Koshin; Ishida, Sachiko

    2004-04-02

    Planarians are phylogenetically considered to be the most primitive animals to have acquired a central nervous system and a bilateral symmetry. However, very little is known about the relationship between planarian brain integration and motility. A behavioural and histological study was therefore undertaken in an aspect of planarian motility recovery during its process of regeneration. Quantitative analysis showed that the tail-regenerates recovered their motility gradually as the new heads reformed, while the non-head reforming tail fragments showed no signs of recovery. The head fragments recovered their motility soon after cutting. The cephalic margin was not a function of the motility. The brain regenerated back to its original form in approximately two weeks, the same amount of time it took for the decapitated tails to recover their motility to initial levels. This study provides quantitative evidence that the planarian motility recovered in relation to the head formation during its process of regeneration. Our results reinforce the view that the brain plays a functional part in activating planarian motility.

  17. Optical coherence tomography: a new strategy to image planarian regeneration.

    PubMed

    Lin, Yu-Sheng; Chu, Chin-Chou; Lin, Jen-Jen; Chang, Chien-Cheng; Wang, Chun-Chieh; Wang, Chiao-Yin; Tsui, Po-Hsiang

    2014-09-10

    The planarian is widely used as a model for studying tissue regeneration. In this study, we used optical coherence tomography (OCT) for the real-time, high-resolution imaging of planarian tissue regeneration. Five planaria were sliced transversely to produce 5 head and 5 tail fragments. During a 2-week regeneration period, OCT images of the planaria were acquired to analyze the signal attenuation rates, intensity ratios, and image texture features (including contrast, correlation, homogeneity, energy, and entropy) to compare the primitive and regenerated tissues. In the head and tail fragments, the signal attenuation rates of the regenerated fragments decreased from -0.2 dB/μm to -0.05 dB/μm, between Day 1 and Day 6, and then increased to -0.2 dB/μm on Day 14. The intensity ratios decreased to approximately 0.8 on Day 6, and increased to between 0.8 and 0.9 on Day 14. The texture parameters of contrast, correlation, and homogeneity exhibited trends similar to the signal attenuation rates and intensity ratios during the planarian regeneration. The proposed OCT parameters might provide biological information regarding cell apoptosis and the formation of a mass of new cells during planarian regeneration. Therefore, OCT imaging is a potentially effective method for planarian studies.

  18. Reactivating head regrowth in a regeneration-deficient planarian species.

    PubMed

    Liu, S-Y; Selck, C; Friedrich, B; Lutz, R; Vila-Farré, M; Dahl, A; Brandl, H; Lakshmanaperumal, N; Henry, I; Rink, J C

    2013-08-01

    Species capable of regenerating lost body parts occur throughout the animal kingdom, yet close relatives are often regeneration incompetent. Why in the face of 'survival of the fittest' some animals regenerate but others do not remains a fascinating question. Planarian flatworms are well known and studied for their ability to regenerate from minute tissue pieces, yet species with limited regeneration abilities have been described even amongst planarians. Here we report the characterization of the regeneration defect in the planarian Dendrocoelum lacteum and its successful rescue. Tissue fragments cut from the posterior half of the body of this species are unable to regenerate a head and ultimately die. We find that this defect originates during the early stages of head specification, which require inhibition of canonical Wnt signalling in other planarian species. Notably, RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated knockdown of Dlac-β-catenin-1, the Wnt signal transducer, restored the regeneration of fully functional heads on tail pieces, rescuing D. lacteum's regeneration defect. Our results demonstrate the utility of comparative studies towards the reactivation of regenerative abilities in regeneration-deficient animals. Furthermore, the availability of D. lacteum as a regeneration-impaired planarian model species provides a first step towards elucidating the evolutionary mechanisms that ultimately determine why some animals regenerate and others do not.

  19. Optical coherence tomography: A new strategy to image planarian regeneration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Yu-Sheng; Chu, Chin-Chou; Lin, Jen-Jen; Chang, Chien-Cheng; Wang, Chun-Chieh; Wang, Chiao-Yin; Tsui, Po-Hsiang

    2014-09-01

    The planarian is widely used as a model for studying tissue regeneration. In this study, we used optical coherence tomography (OCT) for the real-time, high-resolution imaging of planarian tissue regeneration. Five planaria were sliced transversely to produce 5 head and 5 tail fragments. During a 2-week regeneration period, OCT images of the planaria were acquired to analyze the signal attenuation rates, intensity ratios, and image texture features (including contrast, correlation, homogeneity, energy, and entropy) to compare the primitive and regenerated tissues. In the head and tail fragments, the signal attenuation rates of the regenerated fragments decreased from -0.2 dB/μm to -0.05 dB/μm, between Day 1 and Day 6, and then increased to -0.2 dB/μm on Day 14. The intensity ratios decreased to approximately 0.8 on Day 6, and increased to between 0.8 and 0.9 on Day 14. The texture parameters of contrast, correlation, and homogeneity exhibited trends similar to the signal attenuation rates and intensity ratios during the planarian regeneration. The proposed OCT parameters might provide biological information regarding cell apoptosis and the formation of a mass of new cells during planarian regeneration. Therefore, OCT imaging is a potentially effective method for planarian studies.

  20. Optical coherence tomography: A new strategy to image planarian regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Yu-Sheng; Chu, Chin-Chou; Lin, Jen-Jen; Chang, Chien-Cheng; Wang, Chun-Chieh; Wang, Chiao-Yin; Tsui, Po-Hsiang

    2014-01-01

    The planarian is widely used as a model for studying tissue regeneration. In this study, we used optical coherence tomography (OCT) for the real-time, high-resolution imaging of planarian tissue regeneration. Five planaria were sliced transversely to produce 5 head and 5 tail fragments. During a 2-week regeneration period, OCT images of the planaria were acquired to analyze the signal attenuation rates, intensity ratios, and image texture features (including contrast, correlation, homogeneity, energy, and entropy) to compare the primitive and regenerated tissues. In the head and tail fragments, the signal attenuation rates of the regenerated fragments decreased from −0.2 dB/μm to −0.05 dB/μm, between Day 1 and Day 6, and then increased to −0.2 dB/μm on Day 14. The intensity ratios decreased to approximately 0.8 on Day 6, and increased to between 0.8 and 0.9 on Day 14. The texture parameters of contrast, correlation, and homogeneity exhibited trends similar to the signal attenuation rates and intensity ratios during the planarian regeneration. The proposed OCT parameters might provide biological information regarding cell apoptosis and the formation of a mass of new cells during planarian regeneration. Therefore, OCT imaging is a potentially effective method for planarian studies. PMID:25204535

  1. Novel RNAi-mediated approach to G protein-coupled receptor deorphanization: proof of principle and characterization of a planarian 5-HT receptor.

    PubMed

    Zamanian, Mostafa; Agbedanu, Prince N; Wheeler, Nicolas J; McVeigh, Paul; Kimber, Michael J; Day, Tim A

    2012-01-01

    G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) represent the largest known superfamily of membrane proteins extending throughout the Metazoa. There exists ample motivation to elucidate the functional properties of GPCRs given their role in signal transduction and their prominence as drug targets. In many target organisms, these efforts are hampered by the unreliable nature of heterologous receptor expression platforms. We validate and describe an alternative loss-of-function approach for ascertaining the ligand and G protein coupling properties of GPCRs in their native cell membrane environment. Our efforts are focused on the phylum Platyhelminthes, given the heavy health burden exacted by pathogenic flatworms, as well as the role of free-living flatworms as model organisms for the study of developmental biology. RNA interference (RNAi) was used in conjunction with a biochemical endpoint assay to monitor cAMP modulation in response to the translational suppression of individual receptors. As proof of principle, this approach was used to confirm the neuropeptide GYIRFamide as the cognate ligand for the planarian neuropeptide receptor GtNPR-1, while revealing its endogenous coupling to Gα(i/o). The method was then extended to deorphanize a novel Gα(s)-coupled planarian serotonin receptor, DtSER-1. A bioinformatics protocol guided the selection of receptor candidates mediating 5-HT-evoked responses. These results provide functional data on a neurotransmitter central to flatworm biology, while establishing the great potential of an RNAi-based deorphanization protocol. Future work can help optimize and adapt this protocol for higher-throughput platforms as well as other phyla.

  2. Re-examination of spermatogenesis of Multicotyle purvisi (Platyhelminthes, Aspidogastrea).

    PubMed

    Watson, N A; Rohde, K

    1995-05-01

    Examination of spermatogenesis in Multicotyle purvisi revealed that the process follows the classical pattern previously described for many parasitic platyhelminths, especially other Aspidogastrea and Digenea. Free flagella (with an intercentriolar body between the basal bodies and with striated flagellar rootlets) and a median cytoplasmic process grow from a zone of differentiation. The flagella then fuse with the process in a proximo-distal direction and nucleus and mitochondrion grow out into the elongating spermatid. Spermatids are pinched off at the base, and rootlets and intercentriolar body remain behind in the residual cytoplasm. It is suggested that the aberrant processes described in an earlier report constitute a pathological condition or a response to stress. Changes in the intercentriolar body during spermiogenesis are documented and for the first time in a platyhelminth it is demonstrated that rootlets and intercentriolar bodies are discarded and left behind in the residual cytoplasm.

  3. Planarian regeneration under micro- and hyper-gravity simulated contexts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Auletta, Gennaro; Van Loon, ing.. Jack J. W. A.; Adell, Teresa; Salo, Emili

    Planarians are non-parasitic flatworms of the Turbellaria class, some of which show the striking ability to regenerate any part of their body, even the head, in few days. Planarians are common to many parts of the world, living in both saltwater and freshwater, as well as in terrestrial areas. Due to their plasticity Planarians have been a classical model for the study of the mechanisms of regeneration. Currently, their cheap and easy maintenance, as well as the establishment of robust genetic tools, have converted them into an essential system in the field of stem cells and regenerative medicine. The aim of our project is to study the effect that micro- and hyper- gravity could exert during the process of planarians regeneration. The reason for planarians extreme regenerative capability is the maintenance until adulthood of a population of totipotent stem cells as well as the continuous activation of the cell-cell communication molecular pathways. Our prediction is that the alteration of the forces could affect planarians regeneration at different levels: 1) To regenerate, planarians must activate both proliferative and apoptotic responses, in order to create new tissue and to remodel the pre-existing one, respectively. Both cellular processes have been reported to be altered in several models under differential gravitational forces; 2) In planarians, the main intercellular signalling pathways (Wnt, TGFb, BMP, Hh, EGF) must control the process of differentiation and determination of each cell. For instances, it has been demonstrated that the differential activity of the wnt/beta-catenin pathway specifies the posterior (tail) versus the anterior (head) identity. Those pathways rely on the distance that secreted molecules (morphogens) are able to reach. Either this mechanism consist in a passive diffusion or an active transport through phyllopodia, it could sense the magnitude of the gravitational force; 3) The epidermis of planarians is covered by cilia, which beat

  4. Thioredoxin Glutathione Reductase-Dependent Redox Networks in Platyhelminth Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Bonilla, Mariana; Gladyshev, Vadim N.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Significance: Platyhelminth parasites cause chronic infections that are a major cause of disability, mortality, and economic losses in developing countries. Maintaining redox homeostasis is a major adaptive problem faced by parasites and its disruption can shift the biochemical balance toward the host. Platyhelminth parasites possess a streamlined thiol-based redox system in which a single enzyme, thioredoxin glutathione reductase (TGR), a fusion of a glutaredoxin (Grx) domain to canonical thioredoxin reductase (TR) domains, supplies electrons to oxidized glutathione (GSSG) and thioredoxin (Trx). TGR has been validated as a drug target for schistosomiasis. Recent Advances: In addition to glutathione (GSH) and Trx reduction, TGR supports GSH-independent deglutathionylation conferring an additional advantage to the TGR redox array. Biochemical and structural studies have shown that the TR activity does not require the Grx domain, while the glutathione reductase and deglutathionylase activities depend on the Grx domain, which receives electrons from the TR domains. The search for TGR inhibitors has identified promising drug leads, notably oxadiazole N-oxides. Critical Issues: A conspicuous feature of platyhelminth TGRs is that their Grx-dependent activities are temporarily inhibited at high GSSG concentrations. The mechanism underlying the phenomenon and its biological relevance are not completely understood. Future Directions: The functional diversity of Trxs and Grxs encoded in platyhelminth genomes remains to be further assessed to thoroughly understand the TGR-dependent redox network. Optimization of TGR inhibitors and identification of compounds targeting other parasite redox enzymes are good options to clinically develop relevant drugs for these neglected, but important diseases. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 19, 735–745. PMID:22909029

  5. Planarians: an In Vivo Model for Regenerative Medicine.

    PubMed

    Karami, Ali; Tebyanian, Hamid; Goodarzi, Vahabodin; Shiri, Sajad

    2015-11-01

    The emergence of regenerative medicine has raised the hope of treating an extraordinary range of disease and serious injuries. Understanding the processes of cell proliferation, differentiation and pattern formation in regenerative organisms could help find ways to enhance the poor regenerative abilities shown by many other animals, including humans. Recently, planarians have emerged as an attractive model in which to study regeneration. These animals are considering as in vivo plate, during which we can study the behavior and characristics of stem cells in their own niche. A variety of characteristic such as: simplicity, easy to manipulate experimentally, the existence of more than 100 years of literature, makes these animals an extraordinary model for regenerative medicine researches. Among planarians free-living freshwater hermaphrodite Schmidtea mediterranea has emerged as a suitable model system because it displays robust regenerative properties and, unlike most other planarians, it is a stable diploid with a genome size of about 4.8×10(8) base pairs, nearly half that of other common planarians. Planarian regeneration involves two highly flexible systems: pluripotent neoblasts that can generate any new cell type and muscle cells that provide positional instructions for the regeneration of anybody region. neoblasts represent roughly 25~30 percent of all planarian cells and are scattered broadly through the parenchyma, being absent only from the animal head tips and the pharynx. Two models for neo-blast specification have been proposed; the naive model posits that all neoblasts are stem cells with the same potential and are a largely homogeneous population.

  6. Acoel flatworms are not platyhelminthes: evidence from phylogenomics.

    PubMed

    Philippe, Hervé; Brinkmann, Henner; Martinez, Pedro; Riutort, Marta; Baguñà, Jaume

    2007-08-08

    Acoel flatworms are small marine worms traditionally considered to belong to the phylum Platyhelminthes. However, molecular phylogenetic analyses suggest that acoels are not members of Platyhelminthes, but are rather extant members of the earliest diverging Bilateria. This result has been called into question, under suspicions of a long branch attraction (LBA) artefact. Here we re-examine this problem through a phylogenomic approach using 68 different protein-coding genes from the acoel Convoluta pulchra and 51 metazoan species belonging to 15 different phyla. We employ a mixture model, named CAT, previously found to overcome LBA artefacts where classical models fail. Our results unequivocally show that acoels are not part of the classically defined Platyhelminthes, making the latter polyphyletic. Moreover, they indicate a deuterostome affinity for acoels, potentially as a sister group to all deuterostomes, to Xenoturbellida, to Ambulacraria, or even to chordates. However, the weak support found for most deuterostome nodes, together with the very fast evolutionary rate of the acoel Convoluta pulchra, call for more data from slowly evolving acoels (or from its sister-group, the Nemertodermatida) to solve this challenging phylogenetic problem.

  7. Reconstruction of dopaminergic neural network and locomotion function in planarian regenerates.

    PubMed

    Nishimura, Kaneyasu; Kitamura, Yoshihisa; Inoue, Takeshi; Umesono, Yoshihiko; Sano, Shozo; Yoshimoto, Kanji; Inden, Masatoshi; Takata, Kazuyuki; Taniguchi, Takashi; Shimohama, Shun; Agata, Kiyokazu

    2007-07-01

    Planarian, an invertebrate flatworm, has a high capacity for regeneration when compared with other worms and animals. We show here for the first time that the reconstructed dopamine (DA) neural network regulates locomotion and behavior in planarian regenerates. The gene encoding tyrosine hydroxylase in the planarian Dugesia japonica (DjTH) was identified. DjTH protein was coexpressed with aromatic amino acid decarboxylase-like A (DjAADCA) in the planarian central nervous system (CNS). In addition, DjTH-knockdown planarians lost the ability to synthesize DA, but showed no change in 5-hydroxytryptamine synthesis. When the planarian body was amputated, DjTH-positive neurons were regenerated in the brain newly rebuilt from the tail piece at Day 3, and the DjTH-positive axonal and dendritic neural network in the CNS (dopaminergic tiara) was reconstructed at Days 5-7. At that time, autonomic locomotion and methamphetamine-induced hyperkinesia were also suppressed in DjTH-knockdown planarians. Planarian locomotion and behavior seem to be regulated in both cilia- and muscle-dependent manners. In DjTH-knockdown planarians, muscle-mediated locomotion and behavior were significantly attenuated. These results suggest that DA neurons play a key role in the muscle-mediated movement in planarians.

  8. Disturbances to neurotransmitter levels and their metabolic enzyme activity in a freshwater planarian exposed to cadmium.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jui-Pin; Li, Mei-Hui; Chen, Jhih-Sheng; Chung, Szu-Yao; Lee, Hui-Ling

    2015-03-01

    Using specific neurobehaviors as endpoints, previous studies suggested that planarian neurotransmission systems could be targets of Cd neurotoxicity. However, direct evidence for disturbed neurotransmission systems by Cd in treated planarians is still lacking. In planarians, dopamine (DA) and serotonin (5-HT) play critical roles in neuromuscular function, but little is known about their metabolic degradation. Therefore, in this study, we attempted to determine the appearances of DA, 5-HT, and their metabolic products in the freshwater planarian Dugesia japonica, characterize the activity of enzymes involved in their metabolism, and investigate the effects of Cd on planarian 5-HTergic and DAergic neurotransmission systems. Only DA, 5-HT, and 5-hydroxyindole-3-acetic acid (5-HIAA) were found in planarian tissues. Further enzymatic study revealed the activity of planarian monoamine oxidase (MAO) but not catechol-O-methyl transferase (COMT). These findings suggest that planarian MAO catalyzes the metabolism of 5-HT into 5-HIAA. However, DA metabolites from the MAO-involved metabolic pathway were not found, which might be due to a lack of COMT activity. Finally, in Cd-treated planarians, tissue levels of 5-HT and DA were decreased and MAO activity altered, suggesting that planarian neurotransmission systems are disturbed following Cd treatment.

  9. SILAC proteomics of planarians identifies Ncoa5 as a conserved component of pluripotent stem cells.

    PubMed

    Böser, Alexander; Drexler, Hannes C A; Reuter, Hanna; Schmitz, Henning; Wu, Guangming; Schöler, Hans R; Gentile, Luca; Bartscherer, Kerstin

    2013-11-27

    Planarian regeneration depends on the presence of pluripotent stem cells in the adult. We developed an in vivo stable isotope labeling by amino acids in cell culture (SILAC) protocol in planarians to identify proteins that are enriched in planarian stem cells. Through a comparison of SILAC proteomes of normal and stem cell-depleted planarians and of a stem cell-enriched population of sorted cells, we identified hundreds of stem cell proteins. One of these is an ortholog of nuclear receptor coactivator-5 (Ncoa5/CIA), which is known to regulate estrogen-receptor-mediated transcription in human cells. We show that Ncoa5 is essential for the maintenance of the pluripotent stem cell population in planarians and that a putative mouse ortholog is expressed in pluripotent cells of the embryo. Our study thus identifies a conserved component of pluripotent stem cells, demonstrating that planarians, in particular, when combined with in vivo SILAC, are a powerful model in stem cell research.

  10. Planarian embryology in the era of comparative developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Martín-Durán, José M; Monjo, Francisco; Romero, Rafael

    2012-01-01

    During the last decade, the field of evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo) has emerged as a major research discipline in modern biology and an essential approach to understanding evolutionary relationships in the animal kingdom. At the same time, planarians have become a useful and important model with which to address basic questions regarding the molecular and cellular basis of regeneration, tissue repair and stem cells in adult organisms. Nevertheless, little attention has been paid to their embryonic development, even though this provides a unique opportunity for studying how molecular developmental mechanisms are re-deployed during adult regeneration or the independent losses of spiral cleavage that took place in different lophotrochozoan lineages. In this paper, we review the most relevant works on planarian embryos from a historical point of view. In doing so, we highlight the questions that have recurrently intrigued researchers, most of which remain unanswered. Finally, we present a comprehensive scenario for planarian embryogenesis in an attempt to provide a testable hypothesis that will help to bridge the gap between this divergent mode of development, the ancestral canonical spiral cleavage, and adult planarian regeneration.

  11. ERK signaling controls blastema cell differentiation during planarian regeneration.

    PubMed

    Tasaki, Junichi; Shibata, Norito; Nishimura, Osamu; Itomi, Kazu; Tabata, Yoshimichi; Son, Fuyan; Suzuki, Nobuko; Araki, Ryoko; Abe, Masumi; Agata, Kiyokazu; Umesono, Yoshihiko

    2011-06-01

    The robust regenerative ability of planarians depends on a population of somatic stem cells called neoblasts, which are the only mitotic cells in adults and are responsible for blastema formation after amputation. The molecular mechanism underlying neoblast differentiation associated with blastema formation remains unknown. Here, using the planarian Dugesia japonica we found that DjmkpA, a planarian mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) phosphatase-related gene, was specifically expressed in blastema cells in response to increased extracellular signal-related kinase (ERK) activity. Pharmacological and genetic [RNA interference (RNAi)] approaches provided evidence that ERK activity was required for blastema cells to exit the proliferative state and undergo differentiation. By contrast, DjmkpA RNAi induced an increased level of ERK activity and rescued the differentiation defect of blastema cells caused by pharmacological reduction of ERK activity. These observations suggest that ERK signaling plays an instructive role in the cell fate decisions of blastema cells regarding whether to differentiate or not, by inducing DjmkpA as a negative regulator of ERK signaling during planarian regeneration.

  12. A regulatory program for excretory system regeneration in planarians.

    PubMed

    Scimone, M Lucila; Srivastava, Mansi; Bell, George W; Reddien, Peter W

    2011-10-01

    Planarians can regenerate any missing body part, requiring mechanisms for the production of organ systems in the adult, including their prominent tubule-based filtration excretory system called protonephridia. Here, we identify a set of genes, Six1/2-2, POU2/3, hunchback, Eya and Sall, that encode transcription regulatory proteins that are required for planarian protonephridia regeneration. During regeneration, planarian stem cells are induced to form a cell population in regeneration blastemas expressing Six1/2-2, POU2/3, Eya, Sall and Osr that is required for excretory system formation. POU2/3 and Six1/2-2 are essential for these precursor cells to form. Eya, Six1/2-2, Sall, Osr and POU2/3-related genes are required for vertebrate kidney development. We determined that planarian and vertebrate excretory cells express homologous proteins involved in reabsorption and waste modification. Furthermore, we identified novel nephridia genes. Our results identify a transcriptional program and cellular mechanisms for the regeneration of an excretory organ and suggest that metazoan excretory systems are regulated by genetic programs that share a common evolutionary origin.

  13. Multiple Neuropeptide-Coding Genes Involved in Planarian Pharynx Extension.

    PubMed

    Shimoyama, Seira; Inoue, Takeshi; Kashima, Makoto; Agata, Kiyokazu

    2016-06-01

    Planarian feeding behavior involves three steps: moving toward food, extending the pharynx from their planarian's ventral side after arriving at the food, and ingesting the food through the pharynx. Although pharynx extension is a remarkable behavior, it remains unknown what neuronal cell types are involved in its regulation. To identify neurons involved in regulating pharynx extension, we quantitatively analyzed pharynx extension and sought to identify these neurons by RNA interference (RNAi) and in situ hybridization. This assay, when performed using planarians with amputation of various body parts, clearly showed that the head portion is indispensable for inducing pharynx extension. We thus tested the effects of knockdown of brain neurons such as serotonergic, GABAergic, and dopaminergic neurons by RNAi, but did not observe any effects on pharynx extension behavior. However, animals with RNAi of the Prohormone Convertase 2 (PC2, a neuropeptide processing enzyme) gene did not perform the pharynx extension behavior, suggesting the possible involvement of neuropeptide(s in the regulation of pharynx extension. We screened 24 neuropeptide-coding genes, analyzed their functions by RNAi using the pharynx extension assay system, and identified at least five neuropeptide genes involved in pharynx extension. These was expressed in different cells or neurons, and some of them were expressed in the brain, suggesting complex regulation of planarian feeding behavior by the nervous system.

  14. Expression of Nephrin Homologue in the Freshwater Planarian, Dugesia japonica

    PubMed Central

    Nakamura, Tomomi; Takagi, Sota; Matsumoto, Midori; Tashiro, Fumio; Sakai, Tatsuo; Ichimura, Koichiro

    2014-01-01

    Excretory organs contain epithelial cells that form a filtration membrane specialized for ultrafiltration to produce primary urine. In vertebrates, the filtration membrane is made up of slit diaphragm (SD) formed by glomerular podocytes. Basal metazoans such as flatworms are also known have filtration epithelial cells, called flame cells, which exhibit SD-like structures. The molecular components of podocyte SD have been studied in detail, while those of the SD-like structures in basal metazoans including flatworms remain to be clarified. To determine whether the SD-like structures in flatworms have molecular components common to the SD in vertebrate podocytes, we examined the expression of gene homologue for mammalian nephrin, which encodes an essential transmembrane protein that participates in the formation of the SD, in a species of flatworms, planarian (Dugesia japonica). Flame cells were distributed throughout the entire body of the planarian, but the nephrin-expressing cells identified by in situ hybridization were mainly detected at body periphery excluding head region. The distribution pattern of nephrin-expressing cells was similar to that of proliferating cell nuclear antigen-expressing neoblasts, which are pluripotent stem cells characteristic to planarians. These findings indicated that the SD-like structures can be formed without the Nephrin protein in planarian flame cells. PMID:25859064

  15. A regulatory program for excretory system regeneration in planarians

    PubMed Central

    Scimone, M. Lucila; Srivastava, Mansi; Bell, George W.; Reddien, Peter W.

    2011-01-01

    Planarians can regenerate any missing body part, requiring mechanisms for the production of organ systems in the adult, including their prominent tubule-based filtration excretory system called protonephridia. Here, we identify a set of genes, Six1/2-2, POU2/3, hunchback, Eya and Sall, that encode transcription regulatory proteins that are required for planarian protonephridia regeneration. During regeneration, planarian stem cells are induced to form a cell population in regeneration blastemas expressing Six1/2-2, POU2/3, Eya, Sall and Osr that is required for excretory system formation. POU2/3 and Six1/2-2 are essential for these precursor cells to form. Eya, Six1/2-2, Sall, Osr and POU2/3-related genes are required for vertebrate kidney development. We determined that planarian and vertebrate excretory cells express homologous proteins involved in reabsorption and waste modification. Furthermore, we identified novel nephridia genes. Our results identify a transcriptional program and cellular mechanisms for the regeneration of an excretory organ and suggest that metazoan excretory systems are regulated by genetic programs that share a common evolutionary origin. PMID:21937596

  16. Parthenolide prevents the expression of cocaine-induced withdrawal behavior in planarians.

    PubMed

    Rowlands, Amanda L; Pagán, Oné R

    2008-03-31

    We recently reported that parthenolide and related sesquiterpene lactones are able to prevent and reverse behavioral responses in planarian worms induced by acute cocaine exposure. Previous reports indicate that when planarians are chronically exposed to microM concentrations of cocaine, they display stereotypical withdrawal-like behaviors when the cocaine is removed. Here we report that parthenolide prevents this cocaine-induced expression of planarian withdrawal-like behaviors.

  17. [Regeneration of photoreceptor organs in freshwater planarians at different levels of accumulation of natural methylmercury compounds].

    PubMed

    Medvedev, I V; Gremiachikh, V A; Zheltov, S V; Bogdanenko, O V; Aksenova, I A

    2006-01-01

    The effects of natural methylmercury compounds on regeneration of photoreceptor organs were studied in three freshwater planarians: Polycelis tenuis, Dugesia lugubris, and D. tigrina. Accumulation of methyl mercury in the planarian body suppressed regeneration of P. tenuis with numerous photoreceptor organs to a greater extent than in two other planarians that have only two eyes. High methyl mercury concentrations inhibited the restoration of photoreceptor organs in asexual and sexual D. tigrina races.

  18. [Molecular mechanism of brain regeneration and reconstruction of dopaminergic neural network in planarians].

    PubMed

    Nishimura, Kaneyasu; Kitamura, Yoshihisa; Agata, Kiyokazu

    2008-04-01

    Recently, planarians have received much attention because of their contributions to research on the basic science of stem cell systems, neural regeneration, and regenerative medicine. Planarians can regenerate complete organs, including a well-organized central nervous system (CNS), within about 7 days. This high regenerative capacity is supported by pluripotent stem cells present in the mesenchymal space throughout the body. Interestingly, planarians can regenerate their brain via a molecular mechanism similar to that of mammalian brain development. The regeneration process of the planarian brain can be divided into five steps: (1) anterior blastema formation, (2) brain rudiment formation, (3) brain pattern formation, (4) neural network formation, and (5) functional recovery, with several kinds of genes and molecular cascades acting at each step. Recently, we have identified a planarian tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) gene, a rate-limiting enzyme for dopamine (DA) biosynthesis, and produced TH-knockdown planarians by the RNA interference technique. Studies of TH-knockdown planarians showed that DA has an important role of the modification in behavioral movement in planarians. Using monoclonal anti-planarian TH antibody, we also found that dopaminergic neurons are mainly localized in the planarian brain. When the planarian body was amputated, newly generated TH-immunopositive neurons were detected in the anterior region at day 3 of regeneration (i.e., the period of neural network formation), and the TH-immunopositive axonal and dendritic neural network in the CNS was reconstructed during day 5-7 of regeneration. In this article, recent advances in elucidating the molecular mechanism of planarian brain regeneration and dopaminergic neurons are reviewed, and its future prospects for contribution of this system to basic science and medical science research are described.

  19. Agmatine: identification and inhibition of methamphetamine, kappa opioid, and cannabinoid withdrawal in planarians.

    PubMed

    Rawls, Scott M; Gerber, Kristin; Ding, Zhe; Roth, Christopher; Raffa, Robert B

    2008-12-01

    Agmatine blocks morphine physical dependence in mammals, but its effects on withdrawal signs caused by other abused drugs have been less studied. One of the reasons is that withdrawal to some of these drugs is difficult to quantify in mammals. An alternative to mammals is planarians, a type of flatworm. Planarians possess mammalian-like neurotransmitters and display withdrawal from amphetamines, benzodiazepines, cannabinoids, cocaine, and opioids. The withdrawal is manifested as a reduction in locomotor behavior following discontinuation of drug exposure. In the present study, our goal was to identify agmatine in planarians and to determine if planarians exposed to agmatine display withdrawal to methamphetamine, a cannabinoid receptor agonist (WIN 55,212-2), or a kappa-opioid receptor agonist (U-50,488H). Neurochemical experiments revealed that the concentration of agmatine in planarians was 185 +/- 33.7 pmol per mg of planarian weight (dry weight). In behavioral experiments, withdrawal (i.e., reduced locomotor activity) was observed when planarians exposed to each drug (10 microM) for 60 min were placed into water. The withdrawal was attenuated when methamphetamine- or U-50,488H-exposed planarians were tested in agmatine (100 microM). Withdrawal was inhibited similarly when planarians coexposed to agmatine (100 microM) plus methamphetamine (10 microM), WIN 55,212-2 (10 microM), or U-50,488H (10 microM) were tested in water. Arginine, the metabolic precursor to agmatine, was ineffective. Our results identify endogenous agmatine in planarians and demonstrate that agmatine exposure blocks withdrawal to three different drugs in planarians. This suggests that a change in agmatine signaling is a common mechanism in the withdrawal caused by these drugs, at least in planarians.

  20. Mitochondrial genome data support the basal position of acoelomorpha and the polyphyly of the platyhelminthes

    SciTech Connect

    Ruiz-Trillo, Inaki; Riutort, Marta; Fourcade, H. Matthew; Baguna, Jaume; Boore, Jeffrey L.

    2004-05-01

    We determined 9.7, 5.2, and 6.8 kb, respectively, of the mitochondrial genomes of the acoel Paratomella rubra, the nemertodermatid Nemertoderma westbladi and the free-living rhabditophoran platyhelminth Microstomum lineare. The identified gene arrangements are unique among metazoans, including each other, sharing no more than one or two single gene boundaries with a few distantly related taxa. Phylogenetic analysis of the amino acid sequences inferred from the sequenced genes confirms that the acoelomorph flatworms (acoels + nemertodermatids) do not belong to the Platyhelminthes, but are, instead, the most basal extant bilaterian group. Therefore, the Platyhelminthes, as traditionally constituted, is a polyphyletic phylum.

  1. Acoel flatworms: earliest extant bilaterian Metazoans, not members of Platyhelminthes.

    PubMed

    Ruiz-Trillo, I; Riutort, M; Littlewood, D T; Herniou, E A; Baguña, J

    1999-03-19

    Because of their simple organization the Acoela have been considered to be either primitive bilaterians or descendants of coelomates through secondary loss of derived features. Sequence data of 18S ribosomal DNA genes from non-fast evolving species of acoels and other metazoans reveal that this group does not belong to the Platyhelminthes but represents the extant members of the earliest divergent Bilateria, an interpretation that is supported by recent studies on the embryonic cleavage pattern and nervous system of acoels. This study has implications for understanding the evolution of major body plans, and for perceptions of the Cambrian evolutionary explosion.

  2. First evidence that drugs of abuse produce behavioral sensitization and cross sensitization in planarians.

    PubMed

    Rawls, Scott M; Patil, Tavni; Yuvasheva, Ekaternia; Raffa, Robert B

    2010-07-01

    Behavioral sensitization in mammals, including humans, is sensitive to factors such as administration route, testing environment, and pharmacokinetic confounds, unrelated to the drugs themselves that are difficult to eliminate. Simpler animals less susceptible to these confounding influences may be advantageous substitutes for studying sensitization. We tested this hypothesis by determining whether planarians display sensitization and cross sensitization to cocaine and glutamate. Planarian hyperactivity was quantified as the number of C-like hyperkinesias during a 1-min drug exposure. Planarians exposed initially to cocaine (or glutamate) on day 1 were challenged with cocaine (or glutamate) after 2 or 6 days of abstinence. Acute cocaine or glutamate produced concentration-related hyperactivity. Cocaine or glutamate challenge after 2 and 6 days of abstinence enhanced the hyperactivity, indicating the substances produced planarian behavioral sensitization. Cross-sensitization experiments showed that cocaine produced greater hyperactivity in planarians earlier exposed to glutamate than in glutamate-naive planarians, and vice versa. Behavioral responses were pharmacologically selective because neither scopolamine nor caffeine produced planarian behavioral sensitization despite causing hyperactivity after initial administration, and acute gamma-aminobutyric acid did not cause hyperactivity. Demonstration of pharmacologically selective behavioral sensitization in planarians suggests that these flatworms represent a sensitive in-vivo model to study cocaine behavioral sensitization and to screen potential abuse-deterrent therapeutics.

  3. Nociceptin attenuates methamphetamine abstinence-induced withdrawal-like behavior in planarians.

    PubMed

    Rawls, Scott M; Baron, Steven; Ding, Zhe; Roth, Christopher; Zaveri, Nurulain; Raffa, Robert B

    2008-06-01

    Planarians display a concentration-related reduction in locomotor activity when amphetamine, cocaine, cannabinoid, or benzodiazepine exposure is abruptly discontinued. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that abrupt discontinuation of methamphetamine would also cause withdrawal-like behavior in planarians and that the withdrawal-like behavior would be prevented by nociceptin, which has been shown to modulate the effects of methamphetamine in mammals. We observed a concentration-related reduction of locomotor behavior when planarians exposed to methamphetamine (0.1-100 microM) were tested in drug-free water. The withdrawal-like behavior was abolished when methamphetamine (10 microM)-exposed planarians were placed into water containing nociceptin (10 microM) or when planarians co-exposed to methamphetamine (10 microM) and nociceptin (10 microM) were placed into drug-free water. The effects of nociceptin were abolished in the presence of a nociceptin receptor antagonist, JTC-801 (1 microM). Planarians did not display a change in locomotor behavior during exposure to nociceptin (10 microM) or JTC-801 (1 microM) by themselves. These results (1) reveal a functional interaction between nociceptin and methamphetamine in planarians and (2) provide evidence that nociceptin blocks methamphetamine-induced withdrawal-like behavior in planarians through a JTC-801-sensitive mechanism.

  4. Wnt signaling in planarians: new answers to old questions.

    PubMed

    Almuedo-Castillo, Maria; Sureda-Gómez, Miquel; Adell, Teresa

    2012-01-01

    Wnts are secreted glycoproteins involved in a broad range of essential cell functions, including proliferation, migration and cell-fate determination. Recent years have seen substantial research effort invested in elucidating the role of the Wnt signaling pathway in planarians, flatworms with incredible regenerative capacities. In this review, we summarize current knowledge on the role of canonical (β-catenin-dependent) and non-canonical (β-catenin-independent) Wnt signaling in planarians, not only during regeneration, but also during normal homeostasis. We also describe some of the preliminary data that has been obtained regarding the role of these pathways during embryogenesis. Models are proposed to integrate the different results which have been obtained to date and highlight those questions that still remain to be answered.

  5. Chemo-klino-kinesis in planarian food location.

    PubMed

    Mason, P R

    1975-05-01

    The effects of a homologous series of buffered fatty acid solutions on planarian behaviour were measured as the change in klino-kinetic activity. On the basis of the results obtained a model demonstrating the function of this behaviour pattern in the food-locating response was proposed. The model suggested that qualitative rather than quantitative gradients were effective in stimulating klino-kinetic orientation.

  6. Freshwater Planarians as an Alternative Animal Model for Neurotoxicology.

    PubMed

    Hagstrom, Danielle; Cochet-Escartin, Olivier; Zhang, Siqi; Khuu, Cindy; Collins, Eva-Maria S

    2015-09-01

    Traditional toxicology testing has relied on low-throughput, expensive mammalian studies; however, timely testing of the large number of environmental toxicants requires new in vitro and in vivo platforms for inexpensive medium- to high-throughput screening. Herein, we describe the suitability of the asexual freshwater planarian Dugesia japonica as a new animal model for the study of developmental neurotoxicology. As these asexual animals reproduce by binary fission, followed by regeneration of missing body structures within approximately 1 week, development and regeneration occur through similar processes allowing us to induce neurodevelopment "at will" through amputation. This short time scale and the comparable sizes of full and regenerating animals enable parallel experiments in adults and developing worms to determine development-specific aspects of toxicity. Because the planarian brain, despite its simplicity, is structurally and molecularly similar to the mammalian brain, we are able to ascertain neurodevelopmental toxicity that is relevant to humans. As a proof of concept, we developed a 5-step semiautomatic screening platform to characterize the toxicity of 9 known neurotoxicants (consisting of common solvents, pesticides, and detergents) and a neutral agent, glucose, and quantified effects on viability, stimulated and unstimulated behavior, regeneration, and brain structure. Comparisons of our findings with other alternative toxicology animal models, such as zebrafish larvae and nematodes, demonstrated that planarians are comparably sensitive to the tested chemicals. In addition, we found that certain compounds induced adverse effects specifically in developing animals. We thus conclude that planarians offer new complementary opportunities for developmental neurotoxicology animal models.

  7. Freshwater Planarians as an Alternative Animal Model for Neurotoxicology

    PubMed Central

    Hagstrom, Danielle; Cochet-Escartin, Olivier; Zhang, Siqi; Khuu, Cindy; Collins, Eva-Maria S.

    2015-01-01

    Traditional toxicology testing has relied on low-throughput, expensive mammalian studies; however, timely testing of the large number of environmental toxicants requires new in vitro and in vivo platforms for inexpensive medium- to high-throughput screening. Herein, we describe the suitability of the asexual freshwater planarian Dugesia japonica as a new animal model for the study of developmental neurotoxicology. As these asexual animals reproduce by binary fission, followed by regeneration of missing body structures within approximately 1 week, development and regeneration occur through similar processes allowing us to induce neurodevelopment “at will” through amputation. This short time scale and the comparable sizes of full and regenerating animals enable parallel experiments in adults and developing worms to determine development-specific aspects of toxicity. Because the planarian brain, despite its simplicity, is structurally and molecularly similar to the mammalian brain, we are able to ascertain neurodevelopmental toxicity that is relevant to humans. As a proof of concept, we developed a 5-step semiautomatic screening platform to characterize the toxicity of 9 known neurotoxicants (consisting of common solvents, pesticides, and detergents) and a neutral agent, glucose, and quantified effects on viability, stimulated and unstimulated behavior, regeneration, and brain structure. Comparisons of our findings with other alternative toxicology animal models, such as zebrafish larvae and nematodes, demonstrated that planarians are comparably sensitive to the tested chemicals. In addition, we found that certain compounds induced adverse effects specifically in developing animals. We thus conclude that planarians offer new complementary opportunities for developmental neurotoxicology animal models. PMID:26116028

  8. Planarians in toxicology. Responses of asexual Dugesia dorotocephala to selected metals

    SciTech Connect

    Kapu, M.M.; Schaeffer, D.J. )

    1991-08-01

    The planarian Dugesia dorotocephala is a freshwater invertebrate found in unpolluted flowing surface waters. Planarians have a sensitive nervous system with synapses and true brain and evidence these in a variety of social and response behaviors. The inclusion of planarians in a screening battery would provide improved sensitivity in detecting toxicity because planarians commonly respond to lower levels of contamination than do other species. Numerous toxicity test have been conducted to determine the acute and chronic effects of toxicants to provide data necessary for the development of water quality criteria. The appropriateness of Illinois water quality standards for metals was investigated using a 1-hr behavioral test based on the responses of the planarian D. dorotocephala. One possible difficulty with water quality standards for metals is that the standard for each metal is usually established without regard to the effects of other metals present in the receiving water.

  9. Posterior Wnts Have Distinct Roles in Specification and Patterning of the Planarian Posterior Region.

    PubMed

    Sureda-Gómez, Miquel; Pascual-Carreras, Eudald; Adell, Teresa

    2015-11-05

    The wnt signaling pathway is an intercellular communication mechanism essential in cell-fate specification, tissue patterning and regional-identity specification. A βcatenin-dependent signal specifies the AP (Anteroposterior) axis of planarians, both during regeneration of new tissues and during normal homeostasis. Accordingly, four wnts (posterior wnts) are expressed in a nested manner in central and posterior regions of planarians. We have analyzed the specific role of each posterior wnt and the possible cooperation between them in specifying and patterning planarian central and posterior regions. We show that each posterior wnt exerts a distinct role during re-specification and maintenance of the central and posterior planarian regions, and that the integration of the different wnt signals (βcatenin dependent and independent) underlies the patterning of the AP axis from the central region to the tip of the tail. Based on these findings and data from the literature, we propose a model for patterning the planarian AP axis.

  10. Effects of dimethylsulfoxide on behavior and antioxidant enzymes response of planarian Dugesia japonica.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Zuoqing; Zhao, Bosheng; Zhang, Yu

    2012-06-01

    In this study, the toxicity, behavioral and antioxidant activity effects of dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) on planarian Dugesia japonica were investigated. The results showed that the mortality was directly proportional to the DMSO concentration, and planarian locomotor velocity decreased as the concentration of DMSO increased. The recovery of the motility for planarians pre-exposed to DMSO was found to be time- and dose-dependent, and only those pre-exposed to 0.1-3% DMSO resulted in full recovery. The antioxidant enzymes of planarians in response to long-term DMSO stress was also altered in a time- and dose-dependent manner. Planarians revealed more tolerance to DMSO toxicity at low DMSO (0.1%) level in short- and long-term DMSO stress, in which an efficient antioxidant system was involved and the motility was not affected.

  11. Regeneration in an evolutionarily primitive brain--the planarian Dugesia japonica model.

    PubMed

    Umesono, Yoshihiko; Tasaki, Junichi; Nishimura, Kaneyasu; Inoue, Takeshi; Agata, Kiyokazu

    2011-09-01

    A unique aspect of planarians is that they can regenerate a brain from somatic pluripotent stem cells called neoblasts, which have the ability to produce themselves (self-renew) and to give rise to all missing cell types during regeneration. Recent molecular studies have revealed that the planarian brain is composed of many distinct neuronal populations, which are evolutionarily and functionally conserved ones, and acts as an information-processing center to elicit distinct behavioral traits depending on a variety of signals arising from the external environment. How can planarians regenerate such a brain? On the basis of our recent findings, here we review the cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate the stem cell dynamics involved in the brain regeneration of the planarian Dugesia japonica. Our findings suggest the possible value of in vivo planarian studies for guiding regenerative medicine to treat neurodegenerative diseases via interlinking stem cell biology and regeneration biology.

  12. Histone modifications and regeneration in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea.

    PubMed

    Robb, Sofia M C; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro

    2014-01-01

    The freshwater planarian Schmidtea mediterranea has emerged as a powerful model system for studying regeneration and adult stem cell (ASC) biology. This is largely due to the developmental plasticity of these organisms and the abundant distribution and experimental accessibility of their ASCs. Techniques such as whole mount in situ hybridization, dsRNA-mediated interference, halogenated thymidine analogs for defining cell lineages, and fluorescence-activated cell sorting among other methods, have allowed researchers to interrogate the biology and attendant pluripotent stem cells of these animals in great detail. Therefore, it has now become possible to interrogate and define the roles that epigenetic states may play in regulating ASCs, and by extension, regeneration proper. Here, we provide a primer on the types and number of histone families found in S. mediterranea, known as epigenetic marks of these molecules and a survey of epigenetic modifying enzymes encoded by the planarian genome. We also review experimental evidence indicating that such modifications may in fact play key roles in determining the activities of planarian stem cells.

  13. Cell death and tissue remodeling in planarian regeneration.

    PubMed

    Pellettieri, Jason; Fitzgerald, Patrick; Watanabe, Shigeki; Mancuso, Joel; Green, Douglas R; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro

    2010-02-01

    Many long-lived organisms, including humans, can regenerate some adult tissues lost to physical injury or disease. Much of the previous research on mechanisms of regeneration has focused on adult stem cells, which give rise to new tissue necessary for the replacement of missing body parts. Here we report that apoptosis of differentiated cells complements stem cell division during regeneration in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. Specifically, we developed a whole-mount TUNEL assay that allowed us to document two dramatic increases in the rate of apoptosis following amputation-an initial localized response near the wound site and a subsequent systemic response that varies in magnitude depending on the type of fragment examined. The latter cell death response can be induced in uninjured organs, occurs in the absence of planarian stem cells, and can also be triggered by prolonged starvation. Taken together, our results implicate apoptosis in the restoration of proper anatomical scale and proportion through remodeling of existing tissues. We also report results from initial mechanistic studies of apoptosis in planarians, which revealed that a S. mediterranea homolog of the antiapoptotic gene BCL2 is required for cell survival in adult animals. We propose that apoptosis is a central mechanism working in concert with stem cell division to restore anatomical form and function during metazoan regeneration.

  14. A premeiotic function for boule in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea

    PubMed Central

    Iyer, Harini; Issigonis, Melanie; Sharma, Prashant P.; Extavour, Cassandra G.; Newmark, Phillip A.

    2016-01-01

    Mutations in Deleted in Azoospermia (DAZ), a Y chromosome gene, are an important cause of human male infertility. DAZ is found exclusively in primates, limiting functional studies of this gene to its homologs: boule, required for meiotic progression of germ cells in invertebrate model systems, and Daz-like (Dazl), required for early germ cell maintenance in vertebrates. Dazl is believed to have acquired its premeiotic role in a vertebrate ancestor following the duplication and functional divergence of the single-copy gene boule. However, multiple homologs of boule have been identified in some invertebrates, raising the possibility that some of these genes may play other roles, including a premeiotic function. Here we identify two boule paralogs in the freshwater planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. Smed-boule1 is necessary for meiotic progression of male germ cells, similar to the known function of boule in invertebrates. By contrast, Smed-boule2 is required for the maintenance of early male germ cells, similar to vertebrate Dazl. To examine if Boule2 may be functionally similar to vertebrate Dazl, we identify and functionally characterize planarian homologs of human DAZL/DAZ-interacting partners and DAZ family mRNA targets. Finally, our phylogenetic analyses indicate that premeiotic functions of planarian boule2 and vertebrate Dazl evolved independently. Our study uncovers a premeiotic role for an invertebrate boule homolog and offers a tractable invertebrate model system for studying the premeiotic functions of the DAZ protein family. PMID:27330085

  15. Two FGFRL-Wnt circuits organize the planarian anteroposterior axis

    PubMed Central

    Scimone, M Lucila; Cote, Lauren E; Rogers, Travis; Reddien, Peter W

    2016-01-01

    How positional information instructs adult tissue maintenance is poorly understood. Planarians undergo whole-body regeneration and tissue turnover, providing a model for adult positional information studies. Genes encoding secreted and transmembrane components of multiple developmental pathways are predominantly expressed in planarian muscle cells. Several of these genes regulate regional identity, consistent with muscle harboring positional information. Here, single-cell RNA-sequencing of 115 muscle cells from distinct anterior-posterior regions identified 44 regionally expressed genes, including multiple Wnt and ndk/FGF receptor-like (ndl/FGFRL) genes. Two distinct FGFRL-Wnt circuits, involving juxtaposed anterior FGFRL and posterior Wnt expression domains, controlled planarian head and trunk patterning. ndl-3 and wntP-2 inhibition expanded the trunk, forming ectopic mouths and secondary pharynges, which independently extended and ingested food. fz5/8-4 inhibition, like that of ndk and wntA, caused posterior brain expansion and ectopic eye formation. Our results suggest that FGFRL-Wnt circuits operate within a body-wide coordinate system to control adult axial positioning. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.12845.001 PMID:27063937

  16. pbx is required for pole and eye regeneration in planarians.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chun-Chieh G; Wang, Irving E; Reddien, Peter W

    2013-02-01

    Planarian regeneration involves regionalized gene expression that specifies the body plan. After amputation, planarians are capable of regenerating new anterior and posterior poles, as well as tissues polarized along the anterior-posterior, dorsal-ventral and medial-lateral axes. Wnt and several Hox genes are expressed at the posterior pole, whereas Wnt inhibitory genes, Fgf inhibitory genes, and prep, which encodes a TALE-family homeodomain protein, are expressed at the anterior pole. We found that Smed-pbx (pbx for short), which encodes a second planarian TALE-family homeodomain transcription factor, is required for restored expression of these genes at anterior and posterior poles during regeneration. Moreover, pbx(RNAi) animals gradually lose pole gene expression during homeostasis. By contrast, pbx was not required for initial anterior-posterior polarized responses to wounds, indicating that pbx is required after wound responses for development and maintenance of poles during regeneration and homeostatic tissue turnover. Independently of the requirement for pbx in pole regeneration, pbx is required for eye precursor formation and, consequently, eye regeneration and eye replacement in homeostasis. Together, these data indicate that pbx promotes pole formation of body axes and formation of regenerative progenitors for eyes.

  17. A premeiotic function for boule in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea.

    PubMed

    Iyer, Harini; Issigonis, Melanie; Sharma, Prashant P; Extavour, Cassandra G; Newmark, Phillip A

    2016-06-21

    Mutations in Deleted in Azoospermia (DAZ), a Y chromosome gene, are an important cause of human male infertility. DAZ is found exclusively in primates, limiting functional studies of this gene to its homologs: boule, required for meiotic progression of germ cells in invertebrate model systems, and Daz-like (Dazl), required for early germ cell maintenance in vertebrates. Dazl is believed to have acquired its premeiotic role in a vertebrate ancestor following the duplication and functional divergence of the single-copy gene boule. However, multiple homologs of boule have been identified in some invertebrates, raising the possibility that some of these genes may play other roles, including a premeiotic function. Here we identify two boule paralogs in the freshwater planarian Schmidtea mediterranea Smed-boule1 is necessary for meiotic progression of male germ cells, similar to the known function of boule in invertebrates. By contrast, Smed-boule2 is required for the maintenance of early male germ cells, similar to vertebrate Dazl To examine if Boule2 may be functionally similar to vertebrate Dazl, we identify and functionally characterize planarian homologs of human DAZL/DAZ-interacting partners and DAZ family mRNA targets. Finally, our phylogenetic analyses indicate that premeiotic functions of planarian boule2 and vertebrate Dazl evolved independently. Our study uncovers a premeiotic role for an invertebrate boule homolog and offers a tractable invertebrate model system for studying the premeiotic functions of the DAZ protein family.

  18. Planarian GSK3s are involved in neural regeneration.

    PubMed

    Adell, Teresa; Marsal, Maria; Saló, Emili

    2008-02-01

    Glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK3) is a key element in several signaling cascades that is known to be involved in both patterning and neuronal organization. It is, therefore, a good candidate to play a role in neural regeneration in planarians. We report the characterization of three GSK3 genes in Schmidtea mediterranea. Phylogenetic analysis shows that Smed-GSK3.1 is highly conserved compared to GSK3 sequences from other species, whereas Smed-GSK3.2 and Smed-GSK3.3 are more divergent. Treatment of regenerating planarians with 1-azakenpaullone, a synthetic GSK3 inhibitor, suggests that planarian GSK3s are essential for normal differentiation and morphogenesis of the nervous system. Cephalic ganglia appear smaller and disconnected in 1-azakenpaullone-treated animals, whereas visual axons are ectopically projected, and the pharynx does not regenerate properly. This phenotype is consistent with a role for Smed-GSK3s in neuronal polarization and axonal growth.

  19. Spontaneous Behaviors and Wall-Curvature Lead to Apparent Wall Preference in Planarian.

    PubMed

    Akiyama, Yoshitaro; Agata, Kiyokazu; Inoue, Takeshi

    2015-01-01

    The planarian Dugesia japonica tends to stay near the walls of its breeding containers and experimental dishes in the laboratory, a phenomenon called "wall preference". This behavior is thought to be important for environmental adaptation, such as hiding by planarians in nature. However, the mechanisms regulating wall-preference behavior are not well understood, since this behavior occurs in the absence of any particular stimulation. Here we show the mechanisms of wall-preference behavior. Surprisingly, planarian wall-preference behavior was also shown even by the head alone and by headless planarians. These results indicate that planarian "wall-preference" behavior only appears to be a "preference" behavior, and is actually an outcome of spontaneous behaviors, rather than of brain function. We found that in the absence of environmental cues planarians moved basically straight ahead until they reached a wall, and that after reaching a wall, they changed their direction of movement to one tangential to the wall, suggesting that this spontaneous behavior may play a critical role in the wall preference. When we tested another spontaneous behavior, the wigwag movement of the planarian head, using computer simulation with various wigwag angles and wigwag intervals, large wigwag angle and short wigwag interval reduced wall-preference behavior. This indicated that wigwag movement may determine the probability of staying near the wall or leaving the wall. Furthermore, in accord with this simulation, when we tested planarian wall-preference behavior using several assay fields with different curvature of the wall, we found that concavity and sharp curvature of walls negatively impacted wall preference by affecting the permissible angle of the wigwag movement. Together, these results indicate that planarian wall preference may be involuntarily caused by the combination of two spontaneous planarian behaviors: moving straight ahead until reaching a wall and then moving along it

  20. Spontaneous Behaviors and Wall-Curvature Lead to Apparent Wall Preference in Planarian

    PubMed Central

    Akiyama, Yoshitaro; Agata, Kiyokazu; Inoue, Takeshi

    2015-01-01

    The planarian Dugesia japonica tends to stay near the walls of its breeding containers and experimental dishes in the laboratory, a phenomenon called “wall preference”. This behavior is thought to be important for environmental adaptation, such as hiding by planarians in nature. However, the mechanisms regulating wall-preference behavior are not well understood, since this behavior occurs in the absence of any particular stimulation. Here we show the mechanisms of wall-preference behavior. Surprisingly, planarian wall-preference behavior was also shown even by the head alone and by headless planarians. These results indicate that planarian “wall-preference” behavior only appears to be a “preference” behavior, and is actually an outcome of spontaneous behaviors, rather than of brain function. We found that in the absence of environmental cues planarians moved basically straight ahead until they reached a wall, and that after reaching a wall, they changed their direction of movement to one tangential to the wall, suggesting that this spontaneous behavior may play a critical role in the wall preference. When we tested another spontaneous behavior, the wigwag movement of the planarian head, using computer simulation with various wigwag angles and wigwag intervals, large wigwag angle and short wigwag interval reduced wall-preference behavior. This indicated that wigwag movement may determine the probability of staying near the wall or leaving the wall. Furthermore, in accord with this simulation, when we tested planarian wall-preference behavior using several assay fields with different curvature of the wall, we found that concavity and sharp curvature of walls negatively impacted wall preference by affecting the permissible angle of the wigwag movement. Together, these results indicate that planarian wall preference may be involuntarily caused by the combination of two spontaneous planarian behaviors: moving straight ahead until reaching a wall and then

  1. Recording and spectrum analysis of the planarian electroencephalogram.

    PubMed

    Aoki, R; Wake, H; Sasaki, H; Agata, K

    2009-03-17

    Many animals produce continuous brainwaves, known as the electroencephalogram (EEG), but it is not known at what point in evolution the EEG developed. Planarians possess the most primitive form of brain, but still exhibit learning and memory behaviors. Here, we observed and characterized the EEG waveform of the planarian. We inserted a monopole electrode into the head of a planarian on a cold stage, and were able to observe the EEG at sub-microvolt amplitudes. The EEG had a continuous waveform, similar to that of evolutionarily advanced animals with more developed brains. Occasional myogenic potential spikes were observed in the EEG due to sticking of the electrode, but this was markedly diminished by cooling the sample, which enabled us to investigate the intrinsic character of the continuous EEG waveform. The frequency spectrum of the EEG was observed in the range of 0.1-5 Hz, showing a broad rise below 0.5 Hz and a monotonic decrease above 1 Hz, apparently following the 1/f law. The intensity of the total EEG diminished during anesthesia by cooling to 2-3 degrees C, and recovered when the sample was warmed to about 10 degrees C. The EEG signal was sustained for 30-40 min, and gradually weakened as the animal died. Stimulation of the planarian with water vibration at 0.5-2 Hz induced chaotic resonance with a broad peak spectrum of around the stimulation frequency. Strong illumination suppressed the EEG signals for several minutes, with the degree of suppression positively correlating with the intensity of the light. This provides evidence that the EEG responds to optical signals, although there were no synchronous reactions to light flashes. The continuous EEG waveform suggests the existence of feedback loop circuits in the neural network of the planarian, which was supposed in electric shock memory experiments [McConnell JV, Cornwell P, Clay M (1960) An apparatus for conditioning planaria. Am J Psychol 73:618-622]. However, because of the broad band character of

  2. Planarian Body-Wall Muscle: Regeneration and Function beyond a Simple Skeletal Support.

    PubMed

    Cebrià, Francesc

    2016-01-01

    The body-wall musculature of adult planarians consists of intricately organized muscle fibers, which after amputation are regenerated rapidly and with great precision through the proliferation and differentiation of pluripotent stem cells. These traits make the planarian body-wall musculature a potentially useful model for the study of cell proliferation, differentiation, and pattern formation. Planarian body-wall muscle shows some ambiguous features common to both skeletal and smooth muscle cells. However, its skeletal nature is implied by the expression of skeletal myosin heavy-chain genes and the myogenic transcription factor myoD. Where and when planarian stem cells become committed to the myogenic lineage during regeneration, how the new muscle cells are integrated into the pre-existing muscle net, and the identity of the molecular pathway controlling the myogenic gene program are key aspects of planarian muscle regeneration that need to be addressed. Expression of the conserved transcription factor myoD has been recently demonstrated in putative myogenic progenitors. Moreover, recent studies suggest that differentiated muscle cells may provide positional information to planarian stem cells during regeneration. Here, I review the limited available knowledge on planarian muscle regeneration.

  3. Neuronal sources of hedgehog modulate neurogenesis in the adult planarian brain

    PubMed Central

    Currie, Ko W; Molinaro, Alyssa M; Pearson, Bret J

    2016-01-01

    The asexual freshwater planarian is a constitutive adult, whose central nervous system (CNS) is in a state of constant homeostatic neurogenesis. However, very little is known about the extrinsic signals that act on planarian stem cells to modulate rates of neurogenesis. We have identified two planarian homeobox transcription factors, Smed-nkx2.1 and Smed-arx, which are required for the maintenance of cholinergic, GABAergic, and octopaminergic neurons in the planarian CNS. These very same neurons also produce the planarian hedgehog ligand (Smed-hh), which appears to communicate with brain-adjacent stem cells to promote normal levels of neurogenesis. Planarian stem cells nearby the brain express core hh signal transduction genes, and consistent hh signaling levels are required to maintain normal production of neural progenitor cells and new mature cholinergic neurons, revealing an important mitogenic role for the planarian hh signaling molecule in the adult CNS. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.19735.001 PMID:27864883

  4. Planarian Body-Wall Muscle: Regeneration and Function beyond a Simple Skeletal Support

    PubMed Central

    Cebrià, Francesc

    2016-01-01

    The body-wall musculature of adult planarians consists of intricately organized muscle fibers, which after amputation are regenerated rapidly and with great precision through the proliferation and differentiation of pluripotent stem cells. These traits make the planarian body-wall musculature a potentially useful model for the study of cell proliferation, differentiation, and pattern formation. Planarian body-wall muscle shows some ambiguous features common to both skeletal and smooth muscle cells. However, its skeletal nature is implied by the expression of skeletal myosin heavy-chain genes and the myogenic transcription factor myoD. Where and when planarian stem cells become committed to the myogenic lineage during regeneration, how the new muscle cells are integrated into the pre-existing muscle net, and the identity of the molecular pathway controlling the myogenic gene program are key aspects of planarian muscle regeneration that need to be addressed. Expression of the conserved transcription factor myoD has been recently demonstrated in putative myogenic progenitors. Moreover, recent studies suggest that differentiated muscle cells may provide positional information to planarian stem cells during regeneration. Here, I review the limited available knowledge on planarian muscle regeneration. PMID:26904543

  5. Sucrose produces withdrawal and dopamine-sensitive reinforcing effects in planarians.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Charlie; Tallarida, Christopher S; Raffa, Robert B; Rawls, Scott M

    2013-03-15

    Sucrose produces physical dependence and reinforcing effects in rats. We hypothesized that similar effects could be demonstrated in planarians, the earliest animal with a centralized nervous system. We used two assays, one that quantifies withdrawal responses during drug absence as a reduction in motility and another that quantifies reinforcing effects using a conditioned place preference (CPP) design. In withdrawal experiments, planarians exposed to sucrose (1%) for 60 min and then tested in water for 5 min displayed reduced motility compared to water controls. Acute or continuous sucrose (1%) exposure did not affect motility. CPP experiments used a biased design to capitalize upon planarians' natural preference for the dark (pretest, sucrose conditioning in the light, posttest). Planarians conditioned with sucrose (1%) displayed a greater preference shift than sucrose-naïve planarians. Glucose (0.1, 1%), but not the non-digestible disaccharide lactulose (0.1, 1%), also produced a greater preference shift than water-exposed planarians. Development of sucrose-induced CPP was inhibited when sucrose (1%) conditioning was conducted in combination with dopamine receptor antagonists SCH 23390 (1 μM) or sulpiride (1 μM). These results suggest that the rewarding and reinforcing effects of sugar are highly conserved across species and that planarians offer an invertebrate model to provide insight into the pharmacological effects of sucrose and related sweeteners.

  6. Constitutive gene expression and specification of tissue identity in adult planarian biology

    PubMed Central

    Reddien, Peter W.

    2011-01-01

    Planarians are flatworms that constitutively maintain adult tissues through cell turnover and can regenerate entire organisms from tiny body fragments. In addition to requiring new cells (from neoblasts), these feats require mechanisms that specify tissue identity in the adult. Critical roles for Wnt and BMP signaling in regeneration and maintenance of the body axes have been uncovered, among other regulatory factors. Available data indicate that genes involved in positional identity regulation at key embryonic stages in other animals display persisting regionalized expression in adult planarians. These expression patterns suggest that a constitutively active gene expression map exists for maintenance of the planarian body. Planarians therefore present a fertile ground for identification of factors regulating regionalization of the metazoan body plan and for study of the attributes of these factors that can lead to maintenance and regeneration of adult tissues. PMID:21680047

  7. On the organ trail: insights into organ regeneration in the planarian.

    PubMed

    Roberts-Galbraith, Rachel H; Newmark, Phillip A

    2015-06-01

    Advances in stem cell biology have led to the derivation of diverse cell types, yet challenges remain in creating complex tissues and functional organs. Unlike humans, some animals regenerate all missing tissues and organs successfully after dramatic injuries. Studies of organisms with exceptional regenerative capacity, like planarians, could complement in vitro studies and reveal mechanistic themes underlying regeneration on the scale of whole organs and tissues. In this review, we outline progress in understanding planarian organ regeneration, with focus on recent studies of the nervous, digestive, and excretory systems. We further examine molecular mechanisms underlying establishment of diverse cell fates from the planarian stem cell pool. Finally, we explore conceptual directions for future studies of organ regeneration in planarians.

  8. Transcriptome analysis of the planarian eye identifies ovo as a specific regulator of eye regeneration.

    PubMed

    Lapan, Sylvain W; Reddien, Peter W

    2012-08-30

    Among the millions of invertebrate species with visual systems, the genetic basis of eye development and function is well understood only in Drosophila melanogaster. We describe an eye transcriptome for the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. Planarian photoreceptors expressed orthologs of genes required for phototransduction and microvillus structure in Drosophila and vertebrates, and optic pigment cells expressed solute transporters and melanin synthesis enzymes similar to those active in the vertebrate retinal pigment epithelium. Orthologs of several planarian eye genes, such as bestrophin-1 and Usher syndrome genes, cause eye defects in mammals when perturbed and were not previously described to have roles in invertebrate eyes. Five previously undescribed planarian eye transcription factors were required for normal eye formation during head regeneration. In particular, a conserved, transcription-factor-encoding ovo gene was expressed from the earliest stages of eye regeneration and was required for regeneration of all cell types of the eye.

  9. The planarian flatworm: an in vivo model for stem cell biology and nervous system regeneration.

    PubMed

    Gentile, Luca; Cebrià, Francesc; Bartscherer, Kerstin

    2011-01-01

    Planarian flatworms are an exception among bilaterians in that they possess a large pool of adult stem cells that enables them to promptly regenerate any part of their body, including the brain. Although known for two centuries for their remarkable regenerative capabilities, planarians have only recently emerged as an attractive model for studying regeneration and stem cell biology. This revival is due in part to the availability of a sequenced genome and the development of new technologies, such as RNA interference and next-generation sequencing, which facilitate studies of planarian regeneration at the molecular level. Here, we highlight why planarians are an exciting tool in the study of regeneration and its underlying stem cell biology in vivo, and discuss the potential promises and current limitations of this model organism for stem cell research and regenerative medicine.

  10. Innate immune system and tissue regeneration in planarians: an area ripe for exploration.

    PubMed

    Peiris, T Harshani; Hoyer, Katrina K; Oviedo, Néstor J

    2014-08-01

    The immune system has been implicated as an important modulator of tissue regeneration. However, the mechanisms driving injury-induced immune response and tissue repair remain poorly understood. For over 200 years, planarians have been a classical model for studies on tissue regeneration, but the planarian immune system and its potential role in repair is largely unknown. We found through comparative genomic analysis and data mining that planarians contain many potential homologs of the innate immune system that are activated during injury and repair of adult tissues. These findings support the notion that the relationship between adult tissue repair and the immune system is an ancient feature of basal Bilateria. Further analysis of the planarian immune system during regeneration could potentially add to our understanding of how the innate immune system and inflammatory responses interplay with regenerative signals to induce scar-less tissue repair in the context of the adult organism.

  11. The history and enduring contributions of planarians to the study of animal regeneration.

    PubMed

    Elliott, Sarah A; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro

    2013-01-01

    Having an almost unlimited capacity to regenerate tissues lost to age and injury, planarians have long fascinated naturalists. In the Western hemisphere alone, their documented history spans more than 200 years. Planarians were described in the early 19th century as being 'immortal under the edge of the knife', and initial investigation of these remarkable animals was significantly influenced by studies of regeneration in other organisms and from the flourishing field of experimental embryology in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This review strives to place the study of planarian regeneration into a broader historical context by focusing on the significance and evolution of knowledge in this field. It also synthesizes our current molecular understanding of the mechanisms of planarian regeneration uncovered since this animal's relatively recent entrance into the molecular-genetic age.

  12. Photokinesis and Djopsin gene expression analysis during the regeneration of planarian eyes.

    PubMed

    Dong, Zimei; Yuwen, Yanqing; Sima, Yingxu; Dong, Yanping; Zhan, Huina; Chen, Guangwen; Liu, Dezeng

    2017-03-01

    Planarians provide the ideal model for studying eye development, with their simple eye structure and exceptionally rapid regeneration. Here, we observed the eye morphogenesis, photophobic behavior, spectral sensitivity and expression pattern of Djopsin in the freshwater planarian Dugesia japonica. The results showed that: (i) Djopsin encoding the putative protein belonged to the rhabdomeric opsins group and displayed high conservation during animal evolution; (ii) planarians displayed diverse photophobic response to different visible wavelengths and were more sensitive to light blue (495 nm) and yellow (635 nm); (iii) the morphogenesis and functional recovery of eyes were related to the expression pattern of Djopsin during head regeneration; and (iv) Djopsin gene plays a major role in functional recovery during eye regeneration and visual system maintenance in adult planarians.

  13. miR-71b regulation of insulin/IGF-1 signaling during starvation in planarians.

    PubMed

    Wu, Y Y; Zhao, J M; Liu, Q; Guo, Q; Liu, Z; Wang, X X; Wang, C Y; Li, R Y; Zhang, Y Z; Zhang, S T

    2015-10-05

    Planarians, which have a large population of stem cells called neoblasts, are molecularly tractable model systems used in the study of regeneration. However, planarians have strong resistance to hunger and have developed growth arrest strategies. For example, they can change their size and undergo growth regression during starvation periods. The results of the current study show that the microRNA, miR-71b, and the insulin/IGF-1 signaling pathway have important functions in the development of starvation-induced planarians. We demonstrate tissue-specific expression of miR-71b using in situ hybridization. By employing real-time polymerase chain reaction, we provide evidence that miR-71b is upregulated in starvation-induced planarians. Furthermore, we validate and verify the target genes of miR-71b.

  14. THE HISTORY AND ENDURING CONTRIBUTIONS OF PLANARIANS TO THE STUDY OF ANIMAL REGENERATION

    PubMed Central

    Elliott, Sarah A.; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro

    2012-01-01

    Having an almost unlimited capacity to regenerate tissues lost to age and injury, planarians have long fascinated naturalists. In the Western hemisphere alone, their documented history spans more than 200 years. Planarians were described in the early 19th century as being “immortal under the edge of the knife,” and initial investigation of these remarkable animals was significantly influenced by studies of regeneration in other organisms and from the flourishing field of experimental embryology in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This review strives to place the study of planarian regeneration into a broader historical context by focusing on the significance and evolution of knowledge in this field. It also synthesizes our current molecular understanding of the mechanisms of planarian regeneration uncovered since this animal’s relatively recent entrance into the molecular-genetic age. PMID:23799578

  15. Innate immune system and tissue regeneration in Planarians: An area ripe for exploration

    PubMed Central

    Peiris, T. Harshani; Hoyer, Katrina K.; Oviedo, Néstor J.

    2014-01-01

    The immune system has been implicated as an important modulator of tissue regeneration. However, the mechanisms driving injury-induced immune response and tissue repair remain poorly understood. For over 200 years, planarians have been a classical model for studies on tissue regeneration, but the planarian immune system and its potential role in repair is largely unknown. We found through comparative genomic analysis and data mining that planarians contain many potential homologs of the innate immune system that are activated during injury and repair of adult tissues. These findings support the notion that the relationship between adult tissue repair and the immune system is an ancient feature of basal Bilateria. Further analysis of the planarian immune system during regeneration could potentially add to our understanding of how the innate immune system and inflammatory responses interplay with regenerative signals to induce scar-less tissue repair in the context of the adult organism. PMID:25082737

  16. Epimorphic regeneration of the distal part of the planarian pharynx.

    PubMed

    Ito, H; Saito, Y; Watanabe, K; Orii, H

    2001-01-01

    The totipotent stem cells called neoblasts seem to be concerned with the remarkable regeneration ability of planarians. However, the pharynx is able to regenerate after the amputation of its distal part, in spite of a lack of neoblasts in the pharynx. The process of regeneration has been referred to as morphallaxis, based on conventional histochemical observations. We examined it again immuno-histochemically using anti-Dugesia japonica proliferating cell nuclear antigen (DjPCNA) antibody for neoblasts and anti-D. japonica myosin heavy chain-A (DjMHC-A) antibody for pharynx muscle fibers. This immuno-histochemical study, together with observations of the regeneration process of planarians irradiated with X-rays in particular regions, revealed that after the amputation, neoblasts from outside the pharynx entered that organ, moved through the mesenchyme of the pharynx to the wounded area, and differentiated into the cells that had been lost there. We show here that the regeneration after amputation of the distal part of the pharynx is an 'epimorphic' process.

  17. Neoblast specialization in regeneration of the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea.

    PubMed

    Scimone, M Lucila; Kravarik, Kellie M; Lapan, Sylvain W; Reddien, Peter W

    2014-08-12

    Planarians can regenerate any missing body part in a process requiring dividing cells called neoblasts. Historically, neoblasts have largely been considered a homogeneous stem cell population. Most studies, however, analyzed neoblasts at the population rather than the single-cell level, leaving the degree of heterogeneity in this population unresolved. We combined RNA sequencing of neoblasts from wounded planarians with expression screening and identified 33 transcription factors transcribed in specific differentiated cells and in small fractions of neoblasts during regeneration. Many neoblast subsets expressing distinct tissue-associated transcription factors were present, suggesting candidate specification into many lineages. Consistent with this possibility, klf, pax3/7, and FoxA were required for the differentiation of cintillo-expressing sensory neurons, dopamine-β-hydroxylase-expressing neurons, and the pharynx, respectively. Together, these results suggest that specification of cell fate for most-to-all regenerative lineages occurs within neoblasts, with regenerative cells of blastemas being generated from a highly heterogeneous collection of lineage-specified neoblasts.

  18. Neoblast Specialization in Regeneration of the Planarian Schmidtea mediterranea

    PubMed Central

    Scimone, M. Lucila; Kravarik, Kellie M.; Lapan, Sylvain W.; Reddien, Peter W.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Planarians can regenerate any missing body part in a process requiring dividing cells called neoblasts. Historically, neoblasts have largely been considered a homogeneous stem cell population. Most studies, however, analyzed neoblasts at the population rather than the single-cell level, leaving the degree of heterogeneity in this population unresolved. We combined RNA sequencing of neoblasts from wounded planarians with expression screening and identified 33 transcription factors transcribed in specific differentiated cells and in small fractions of neoblasts during regeneration. Many neoblast subsets expressing distinct tissue-associated transcription factors were present, suggesting candidate specification into many lineages. Consistent with this possibility, klf, pax3/7, and FoxA were required for the differentiation of cintillo-expressing sensory neurons, dopamine-β-hydroxylase-expressing neurons, and the pharynx, respectively. Together, these results suggest that specification of cell fate for most-to-all regenerative lineages occurs within neoblasts, with regenerative cells of blastemas being generated from a highly heterogeneous collection of lineage-specified neoblasts. PMID:25254346

  19. A cembranoid from tobacco prevents the expression of nicotine-induced withdrawal behavior in planarian worms.

    PubMed

    Pagán, Oné R; Rowlands, Amanda L; Fattore, Angela L; Coudron, Tamara; Urban, Kimberly R; Bidja, Apurva H; Eterović, Vesna A

    2009-08-01

    Using an adaptation of published behavioral protocols, we determined that acute exposure to the cholinergic compounds nicotine and carbamylcholine decreased planarian motility in a concentration-dependent manner. A tobacco cembranoid (1S,2E,4R,6R,7E,11E)-cembra-2,7,11-triene-4,6-diol (4R-cembranoid), also decreased planarian motility. Experiments in the presence of 1 microM 4R-cembranoid did increase the IC50 for nicotine- but not carbamylcholine-induced decrease in planarian motility. When planarians were exposed for 24 h to either nicotine or carbamylcholine at concentrations near their respective IC50 values and then transferred to plain media, nicotine-exposed, but not carbamylcholine- or cembranoid-exposed worms displayed withdrawal-like distress behaviors. In experiments where planarians were pre-exposed to 100 microM nicotine for 24 h in the presence of 1 microM 4R-cembranoid, the withdrawal-like effects were significantly reduced. These results indicate that the 4R-cembranoid might have valuable applications for tobacco abuse research. This experimental approach using planarians is useful for the initial screening of compounds relevant to drug abuse and dependence.

  20. PlanMine--a mineable resource of planarian biology and biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Brandl, Holger; Moon, HongKee; Vila-Farré, Miquel; Liu, Shang-Yun; Henry, Ian; Rink, Jochen C

    2016-01-04

    Planarian flatworms are in the midst of a renaissance as a model system for regeneration and stem cells. Besides two well-studied model species, hundreds of species exist worldwide that present a fascinating diversity of regenerative abilities, tissue turnover rates, reproductive strategies and other life history traits. PlanMine (http://planmine.mpi-cbg.de/) aims to accomplish two primary missions: First, to provide an easily accessible platform for sharing, comparing and value-added mining of planarian sequence data. Second, to catalyze the comparative analysis of the phenotypic diversity amongst planarian species. Currently, PlanMine houses transcriptomes independently assembled by our lab and community contributors. Detailed assembly/annotation statistics, a custom-developed BLAST viewer and easy export options enable comparisons at the contig and assembly level. Consistent annotation of all transcriptomes by an automated pipeline, the integration of published gene expression information and inter-relational query tools provide opportunities for mining planarian gene sequences and functions. For inter-species comparisons, we include transcriptomes of, so far, six planarian species, along with images, expert-curated information on their biology and pre-calculated cross-species sequence homologies. PlanMine is based on the popular InterMine system in order to make the rich biology of planarians accessible to the general life sciences research community.

  1. Role of c-Jun N-terminal kinase activation in blastema formation during planarian regeneration.

    PubMed

    Tasaki, Junichi; Shibata, Norito; Sakurai, Toshihide; Agata, Kiyokazu; Umesono, Yoshihiko

    2011-04-01

    The robust regenerative abilities of planarians absolutely depend on a unique population of pluripotent stem cells called neoblasts, which are the only mitotic somatic cells in adult planarians and are responsible for blastema formation after amputation. Little is known about the molecular mechanisms that drive blastema formation during planarian regeneration. Here we found that treatment with the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) inhibitor SP600125 blocked the entry of neoblasts into the M-phase of the cell cycle, while allowing neoblasts to successfully enter S-phase in the planarian Dugesia japonica. The rapid and efficient blockage of neoblast mitosis by treatment with the JNK inhibitor provided a method to assess whether temporally regulated cell cycle activation drives blastema formation during planarian regeneration. In the early phase of blastema formation, activated JNK was detected prominently in a mitotic region (the "postblastema") proximal to the blastema region. Furthermore, we demonstrated that undifferentiated mitotic neoblasts in the postblastema showed highly activated JNK at the single cell level. JNK inhibition by treatment with SP600125 during this period caused a severe defect of blastema formation, which accorded with a drastic decrease of mitotic neoblasts in regenerating animals. By contrast, these animals still retained many undifferentiated neoblasts near the amputation stump. These findings suggest that JNK signaling plays a crucial role in feeding into the blastema neoblasts for differentiation by regulating the G2/M transition in the cell cycle during planarian regeneration.

  2. Simple blood-feeding method for live imaging of gut tube remodeling in regenerating planarians.

    PubMed

    Hosoda, Kazutaka; Morimoto, Mizuki; Motoishi, Minako; Nishimura, Osamu; Agata, Kiyokazu; Umesono, Yoshihiko

    2016-04-01

    Live cell imaging is a powerful technique to study cellular dynamics in vivo during animal development and regeneration. However, few live imaging methods have been reported for studying planarian regeneration. Here, we developed a simple method for steady visualization of gut tube remodeling during regeneration of a living freshwater planarian, Dugesia japonica. When planarians were fed blood several times, gut branches were well-visualized in living intact animals under normal bright-field illumination. Interestingly, tail fragments derived from these colored planarians enabled successive observation of the processes of the formation of a single anterior gut branch in the prepharyngeal region from the preexisting two posterior gut branches in the same living animals during head regeneration. Furthermore, we combined this method and RNA interference (RNAi) and thereby showed that a D. japonica raf-related gene (DjrafA) and mek-related gene (DjmekA) we identified both play a major role in the activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signaling during planarian regeneration, as indicated by their RNAi-induced defects on gut tube remodeling in a time-saving initial screening using blood-feeding without immunohistochemical detection of the gut. Thus, this blood-feeding method is useful for live imaging of gut tube remodeling, and provides an advance for the field of regeneration study in planarians.

  3. The use of lectins as markers for differentiated secretory cells in planarians.

    PubMed

    Zayas, Ricardo M; Cebrià, Francesc; Guo, Tingxia; Feng, Junjie; Newmark, Phillip A

    2010-11-01

    Freshwater planarians have reemerged as excellent models to investigate mechanisms underlying regeneration. The introduction of molecular tools has facilitated the study of planarians, but cell- and tissue-specific markers are still needed to examine differentiation of most cell types. Here we report the utility of fluorescent lectin-conjugates to label tissues in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. We show that 16 lectin-conjugates stain planarian cells or tissues; 13 primarily label the secretory cells, their cytoplasmic projections, and terminal pores. Thus, we examined regeneration of the secretory system using lectin markers and functionally characterized two genes expressed in the secretory cells: marginal adhesive gland-1 (mag-1) and Smed-reticulocalbin1 (Smed-rcn1). RNAi knockdown of these genes caused a dramatic reduction of secretory cell lectin staining, suggesting a role for mag-1 and Smed-rcn1 in secretory cell differentiation. Our results provide new insights into planarian secretory system regeneration and add new markers for labeling several planarian tissues.

  4. Planarian PTEN homologs regulate stem cells and regeneration through TOR signaling.

    PubMed

    Oviedo, Néstor J; Pearson, Bret J; Levin, Michael; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro

    2008-01-01

    We have identified two genes, Smed-PTEN-1 and Smed-PTEN-2, capable of regulating stem cell function in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. Both genes encode proteins homologous to the mammalian tumor suppressor, phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN). Inactivation of Smed-PTEN-1 and -2 by RNA interference (RNAi) in planarians disrupts regeneration, and leads to abnormal outgrowths in both cut and uncut animals followed soon after by death (lysis). The resulting phenotype is characterized by hyperproliferation of neoblasts (planarian stem cells), tissue disorganization and a significant accumulation of postmitotic cells with impaired differentiation capacity. Further analyses revealed that rapamycin selectively prevented such accumulation without affecting the normal neoblast proliferation associated with physiological turnover and regeneration. In animals in which PTEN function is abrogated, we also detected a significant increase in the number of cells expressing the planarian Akt gene homolog (Smed-Akt). However, functional abrogation of Smed-Akt in Smed-PTEN RNAi-treated animals does not prevent cell overproliferation and lethality, indicating that functional abrogation of Smed-PTEN is sufficient to induce abnormal outgrowths. Altogether, our data reveal roles for PTEN in the regulation of planarian stem cells that are strikingly conserved to mammalian models. In addition, our results implicate this protein in the control of stem cell maintenance during the regeneration of complex structures in planarians.

  5. Alternative flow cytometry strategies to analyze stem cells and cell death in planarians

    PubMed Central

    Peiris, Tanuja Harshani; García‐Ojeda, Marcos E.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Planarians possess remarkable stem cell populations that continuously support cellular turnover and are instrumental in the regeneration of tissues upon injury. Cellular turnover and tissue regeneration in planarians rely on the proper integration of local and systemic signals that regulate cell proliferation and cell death. Thus, understanding the signals controlling cellular proliferation and cell death in planarians could provide valuable insights for maintenance of adult body homeostasis and the biology of regeneration. Flow cytometry techniques have been utilized widely to identify, isolate, and characterize planarian stem cell populations. We developed alternative flow cytometry strategies that reduce the number of reagents and the time of sample preparation to analyze stem cells and cell death in planarians. The sensitivity of these methods is validated with functional studies using RNA interference and treatment with  γ irradiation or stressful conditions that are known to trigger cell death. Altogether, we provide a community resource intended to minimize adverse effects during ex vivo studies of stem cells and cell death in planarians. PMID:27307993

  6. PlanMine – a mineable resource of planarian biology and biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    Brandl, Holger; Moon, HongKee; Vila-Farré, Miquel; Liu, Shang-Yun; Henry, Ian; Rink, Jochen C.

    2016-01-01

    Planarian flatworms are in the midst of a renaissance as a model system for regeneration and stem cells. Besides two well-studied model species, hundreds of species exist worldwide that present a fascinating diversity of regenerative abilities, tissue turnover rates, reproductive strategies and other life history traits. PlanMine (http://planmine.mpi-cbg.de/) aims to accomplish two primary missions: First, to provide an easily accessible platform for sharing, comparing and value-added mining of planarian sequence data. Second, to catalyze the comparative analysis of the phenotypic diversity amongst planarian species. Currently, PlanMine houses transcriptomes independently assembled by our lab and community contributors. Detailed assembly/annotation statistics, a custom-developed BLAST viewer and easy export options enable comparisons at the contig and assembly level. Consistent annotation of all transcriptomes by an automated pipeline, the integration of published gene expression information and inter-relational query tools provide opportunities for mining planarian gene sequences and functions. For inter-species comparisons, we include transcriptomes of, so far, six planarian species, along with images, expert-curated information on their biology and pre-calculated cross-species sequence homologies. PlanMine is based on the popular InterMine system in order to make the rich biology of planarians accessible to the general life sciences research community. PMID:26578570

  7. Discovery of multiple neuropeptide families in the phylum Platyhelminthes.

    PubMed

    McVeigh, Paul; Mair, Gunnar R; Atkinson, Louise; Ladurner, Peter; Zamanian, Mostafa; Novozhilova, Ekaterina; Marks, Nikki J; Day, Tim A; Maule, Aaron G

    2009-09-01

    Available evidence shows that short amidated neuropeptides are widespread and have important functions within the nervous systems of all flatworms (phylum Platyhelminthes) examined, and could therefore represent a starting point for new lead drug compounds with which to combat parasitic helminth infections. However, only a handful of these peptides have been characterised, the rigorous exploration of the flatworm peptide signalling repertoire having been hindered by the dearth of flatworm genomic data. Through searches of both expressed sequence tags and genomic resources using the basic local alignment search tool (BLAST), we describe 96 neuropeptides on 60 precursors from 10 flatworm species. Most of these (51 predicted peptides on 14 precursors) are novel and are apparently restricted to flatworms; the remainder comprise nine recognised peptide families including FMRFamide-like (FLPs), neuropeptide F (NPF)-like, myomodulin-like, buccalin-like and neuropeptide FF (NPFF)-like peptides; notably, the latter have only previously been reported in vertebrates. Selected peptides were localised immunocytochemically to the Schistosoma mansoni nervous system. We also describe several novel flatworm NPFs with structural features characteristic of the vertebrate neuropeptide Y (NPY) superfamily, previously unreported characteristics which support the common ancestry of flatworm NPFs with the NPY-superfamily. Our dataset provides a springboard for investigation of the functional biology and therapeutic potential of neuropeptides in flatworms, simultaneously launching flatworm neurobiology into the post-genomic era.

  8. Evolutionary Analysis of Mitogenomes from Parasitic and Free-Living Flatworms

    PubMed Central

    Frías-López, Cristina; Littlewood, D. Timothy J.; Rozas, Julio; Riutort, Marta

    2015-01-01

    Mitochondrial genomes (mitogenomes) are useful and relatively accessible sources of molecular data to explore and understand the evolutionary history and relationships of eukaryotic organisms across diverse taxonomic levels. The availability of complete mitogenomes from Platyhelminthes is limited; of the 40 or so published most are from parasitic flatworms (Neodermata). Here, we present the mitogenomes of two free-living flatworms (Tricladida): the complete genome of the freshwater species Crenobia alpina (Planariidae) and a nearly complete genome of the land planarian Obama sp. (Geoplanidae). Moreover, we have reanotated the published mitogenome of the species Dugesia japonica (Dugesiidae). This contribution almost doubles the total number of mtDNAs published for Tricladida, a species-rich group including model organisms and economically important invasive species. We took the opportunity to conduct comparative mitogenomic analyses between available free-living and selected parasitic flatworms in order to gain insights into the putative effect of life cycle on nucleotide composition through mutation and natural selection. Unexpectedly, we did not find any molecular hallmark of a selective relaxation in mitogenomes of parasitic flatworms; on the contrary, three out of the four studied free-living triclad mitogenomes exhibit higher A+T content and selective relaxation levels. Additionally, we provide new and valuable molecular data to develop markers for future phylogenetic studies on planariids and geoplanids. PMID:25793530

  9. Comparative selenoproteome analysis reveals a reduced utilization of selenium in parasitic platyhelminthes.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Liang; Zhu, Hua-Zhang; Xu, Yin-Zhen; Ni, Jia-Zuan; Zhang, Yan; Liu, Qiong

    2013-01-01

    Background. The selenocysteine(Sec)-containing proteins, selenoproteins, are an important group of proteins present in all three kingdoms of life. Although the selenoproteomes of many organisms have been analyzed, systematic studies on selenoproteins in platyhelminthes are still lacking. Moreover, comparison of selenoproteomes between free-living and parasitic animals is rarely studied. Results. In this study, three representative organisms (Schmidtea mediterranea, Schistosoma japonicum and Taenia solium) were selected for comparative analysis of selenoproteomes in Platyhelminthes. Using a SelGenAmic-based selenoprotein prediction algorithm, a total of 37 selenoprotein genes were identified in these organisms. The size of selenoproteomes and selenoprotein families were found to be associated with different lifestyles: free-living organisms have larger selenoproteome whereas parasitic lifestyle corresponds to reduced selenoproteomes. Five selenoproteins, SelT, Sel15, GPx, SPS2 and TR, were found to be present in all examined platyhelminthes as well as almost all sequenced animals, suggesting their essential role in metazoans. Finally, a new splicing form of SelW that lacked the first exon was found to be present in S. japonicum. Conclusions. Our data provide a first glance into the selenoproteomes of organisms in the phylum Platyhelminthes and may help understand function and evolutionary dynamics of selenium utilization in diversified metazoans.

  10. A study of low power laser on the regenerative process of Girardia tigrina (Girard,1850) (Turbellaria; Tricladida; Dugesiidae).

    PubMed

    Lopes, K A R; Campos Velho, N M R; Munin, E

    2009-05-01

    The mechanism of regeneration does not start to restore the wound until its corresponding epimorphic phase. A bioestimulation of tissues and cells by laser radiation depends on the wavelength, on the dose, and on the intensity of the light. The goal of this work was to verify the effect of the low power laser at 660 nm on the regenerative process of Girardia tigrina. The specimens were maintained in the laboratory under a temperature ranging from 19 degrees up to 24 degrees C for 21 days. The planarians were anesthetized by placing them on ice and then cut them with a scalpel. The three treatments were as following: animals individually irradiated with 14 sessions with 1 minute duration (treatment 1), 14 sessions with 3 minutes duration (treatment 2), and without irradiation (control). The planarians were amputated and divided in three study treatments: a control group (without radiation), and two other treatments: irradiated for 1 minute, and irradiated for 3 minutes. The animals were irradiated with diode laser (660 nm) with 3.3 +/- 0.3 mW of power, using 0.94 mW.mm-2 power density for each irradiation procedure. During the experiment, 14 irradiation sessions were undertaken. The specimens were fixed in Bouin, and stained with hematoxyline and eosin. From observation and histological analysis, it was possible to assess the effects of interaction between laser and tissue. The head fragment after 1 minute of irradiation presented a better organized tissue scheme, when compared with the other treatments. Aspects of the body fragments submitted to 3 minutes of light treatment were very similar to fragments that had not been injured. It can be concluded that there are changes in the quality of regeneration when treated with low power laser under the conditions mentioned above.

  11. Analysis of motor function modulated by cholinergic neurons in planarian Dugesia japonica.

    PubMed

    Nishimura, K; Kitamura, Y; Taniguchi, T; Agata, K

    2010-06-16

    Recent studies of the freshwater planarian Dugesia japonica have revealed fundamental mechanisms and unique aspects of neuroscience and neuroregeneration. Here, we identified the gene for planarian choline acetyltransferase (Djchat), which is essential for acetylcholine (ACh) biosynthesis. Immunofluorescence studies using anti-Dugesia japonica ChAT (DjChAT) antibody revealed that cholinergic neurons are widely distributed in the planarian nervous system, including the brain, ventral nerve cords, optic nerves, and pharyngeal nerve plexus. In order to investigate the function of cholinergic neurons in planarians, we used both pharmacological and RNA interference (RNAi) approaches. Administration of physostigmine (an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor) clearly elevated the amount of ACh, and then induced sudden muscle contraction behavior in a concentration-dependent manner. In addition, we found that pretreatment with tubocurarine (a muscle nicotinic ACh receptor antagonist) or atropine (a non-selective muscarinic ACh receptor antagonist), but not pretreatment with mecamylamine (a neural nicotinic ACh receptor antagonist), significantly extended the latency time for physostigmine-induced contraction behavior, suggesting that muscle nicotinic ACh receptors and muscarinic ACh receptors contribute to physostigmine-induced contraction behavior. We also confirmed that ACh biosynthesis ability and DjChAT-immunoreactivity were eliminated in Djchat(RNAi) planarians. Moreover, the decrease of the level of ACh induced by Djchat(RNAi) caused extension of the latency time for contraction behavior. Our findings support the possibility that the cholinergic functions of planarians are similar to those of vertebrates, suggesting that planarians are simple but useful model organisms for getting insight into the cholinergic nervous system in higher animals.

  12. Expression and functional analysis of musashi-like genes in planarian CNS regeneration.

    PubMed

    Higuchi, Sayaka; Hayashi, Tetsutaro; Tarui, Hiroshi; Nishimura, Osamu; Nishimura, Kaneyasu; Shibata, Norito; Sakamoto, Hiroshi; Agata, Kiyokazu

    2008-07-01

    The remarkable regenerative ability of planarians is made possible by a system of pluripotent stem cells. Recent molecular biological and ultrastructural studies have revealed that planarian stem cells consist of heterogeneous populations, which can be classified into several subsets according to their differential expression of RNA binding protein genes. In this study, we focused on planarian musashi family genes. Musashi encodes an evolutionarily conserved RNA binding protein known to be expressed in neural lineage cells, including neural stem cells, in many animals. Here, we investigated whether planarian musashi-like genes can be used as markers for detecting neural fate-restricted cells. Three musashi family genes, DjmlgA, DjmlgB and DjmlgC (Dugesia japonica musashi-like gene A, B, C), and Djdmlg (Dugesia japonica DAZAP-like/musashi-like gene) were obtained by searching a planarian EST database and 5' RACE, and each was found to have two RNA recognition motifs. We analyzed the types of cells expressing DjmlgA, DjmlgB, DjmlgC and Djdmlg by in situ hybridization, RT-PCR and single-cell RT-PCR analysis. Although Djdmlg was expressed in X-ray-sensitive stem cells and various types of differentiated cells, expression of the other three musashi-like genes was restricted to neural cells, as we expected. Further detailed analyses yielded the unexpected finding that these three planarian musashi family genes were predominantly expressed in X-ray-resistant differentiated neurons, but not in X-ray-sensitive stem cells. RNAi experiments suggested that these planarian musashi family genes might be involved in neural cell differentiation after neural cell-fate commitment.

  13. Diverse miRNA spatial expression patterns suggest important roles in homeostasis and regeneration in planarians.

    PubMed

    González-Estévez, Cristina; Arseni, Varvara; Thambyrajah, Roshana S; Felix, Daniel A; Aboobaker, A Aziz

    2009-01-01

    miRNAs are an important class of non-protein coding small RNAs whose specific functions in animals are rapidly being elucidated. It is clear that miRNAs can play crucial roles in stem cell maintenance, cell fate determination and differentiation. We use planarians, which possess a large population of pluripotent somatic stem cells, as a powerful model system to study many aspects of stem cell biology and regeneration. In particular we wish to investigate the regulatory role miRNAs may have in planarian stem cell self renewal, proliferation and differentiation. Here, we characterized the differential spatial patterns of expression of miRNAs in whole and regenerating planarians by in situ hybridization to nascent miRNA transcripts. These miRNA expression patterns are the first which have been determined for a Lophotrocozoan animal. We have characterized the expression patterns of 42 miRNAs in adult planarians, constituting a complete range of tissue specific expression patterns. We also followed miRNA expression during planarian regeneration. The majority of planarian miRNAs were expressed either in areas where stem cells (neoblasts) are located and/or in the nervous system. Some miRNAs were definitively expressed in stem cells and dividing cells as confirmed by in situ hybridisation after irradiation. We also found miRNAs to be expressed in germ stem cells of the sexual strain. Together, these data suggest an important role for miRNAs in stem cell regulation and in neural cell differentiation in planarians.

  14. nanos function is essential for development and regeneration of planarian germ cells.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yuying; Zayas, Ricardo M; Guo, Tingxia; Newmark, Phillip A

    2007-04-03

    Germ cells are required for the successful propagation of sexually reproducing species. Understanding the mechanisms by which these cells are specified and how their totipotency is established and maintained has important biomedical and evolutionary implications. Freshwater planarians serve as fascinating models for studying these questions. They can regenerate germ cells from fragments of adult tissues that lack reproductive structures, suggesting that inductive signaling is involved in planarian germ cell specification. To study the development and regeneration of planarian germ cells, we have functionally characterized an ortholog of nanos, a gene required for germ cell development in diverse organisms, from Schmidtea mediterranea. In the hermaphroditic strain of this species, Smed-nanos mRNA is detected in developing, regenerating, and mature ovaries and testes. However, it is not detected in the vast majority of newly hatched planarians or in small tissue fragments that will ultimately regenerate germ cells, consistent with an epigenetic origin of germ cells. We show that Smed-nanos RNA interference (RNAi) results in failure to develop, regenerate, or maintain gonads in sexual planarians. Unexpectedly, Smed-nanos mRNA is also detected in presumptive testes primordia of asexual individuals that reproduce strictly by fission. These presumptive germ cells are lost after Smed-nanos RNAi, suggesting that asexual planarians specify germ cells, but their differentiation is blocked downstream of Smed-nanos function. Our results reveal a conserved function of nanos in germ cell development in planarians and suggest that these animals will serve as useful models for dissecting the molecular basis of epigenetic germ cell specification.

  15. 5-HT(1A)-like receptor activation inhibits abstinence-induced methamphetamine withdrawal in planarians.

    PubMed

    Rawls, Scott M; Shah, Hardik; Ayoub, George; Raffa, Robert B

    2010-10-29

    No pharmacological therapy is approved to treat methamphetamine physical dependence, but it has been hypothesized that serotonin (5-HT)-enhancing drugs might limit the severity of withdrawal symptoms. To test this hypothesis, we used a planarian model of physical dependence that quantifies withdrawal as a reduction in planarian movement. Planarians exposed to methamphetamine (10 μM) for 60 min, and then placed (tested) into drug-free water for 5 min, displayed less movement (i.e., withdrawal) than either methamphetamine-naïve planarians tested in water or methamphetamine-exposed planarians tested in methamphetamine. A concentration-related inhibition of withdrawal was observed when methamphetamine-exposed planarians were placed into a solution containing either methamphetamine and 5-HT (0.1-100 μM) or methamphetamine and the 5-HT(1A) receptor agonist 8-hydroxy-N,N-dipropyl-2-aminotetralin (8-OH-DPAT) (10, 20 μM). Planarians with prior methamphetamine exposure displayed enhanced withdrawal when tested in a solution of the 5-HT(1A) receptor antagonist N-[2-[4-(2-methoxyphenyl)-1-piperazinyl]ethyl]-N-(2-pyridyl)cyclohexanecarboxamide (WAY 100635) (1 μM). Methamphetamine-induced withdrawal was not affected by the 5-HT(2B/2C) receptor agonist meta-chlorophenylpiperazine (m-CPZ) (0.1-20 μM). These results provide pharmacological evidence that serotonin-enhancing drugs inhibit expression of methamphetamine physical dependence in an invertebrate model of withdrawal, possibly through a 5-HT(1A)-like receptor-dependent mechanism.

  16. Bioelectric signaling regulates head and organ size during planarian regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Beane, Wendy Scott; Morokuma, Junji; Lemire, Joan M.; Levin, Michael

    2013-01-01

    A main goal of regenerative medicine is to replace lost or damaged tissues and organs with functional parts of the correct size and shape. But the proliferation of new cells is not sufficient; we will also need to understand how the scale and ultimate form of newly produced tissues are determined. Using the planarian model system, we report that membrane voltage-dependent bioelectric signaling determines both head size and organ scaling during regeneration. RNA interference of the H+,K+-ATPase ion pump results in membrane hyperpolarization, which has no effect on the amount of new tissue (blastema) that is regenerated yet produces regenerates with tiny ‘shrunken’ heads and proportionally oversized pharynges. Our data show that this disproportionality results from a lack of the apoptosis required to adjust head and organ size and placement, highlighting apoptotic remodeling as the link between bioelectric signaling and the establishment of organ size during regeneration. PMID:23250205

  17. Bioelectric signaling regulates head and organ size during planarian regeneration.

    PubMed

    Beane, Wendy Scott; Morokuma, Junji; Lemire, Joan M; Levin, Michael

    2013-01-15

    A main goal of regenerative medicine is to replace lost or damaged tissues and organs with functional parts of the correct size and shape. But the proliferation of new cells is not sufficient; we will also need to understand how the scale and ultimate form of newly produced tissues are determined. Using the planarian model system, we report that membrane voltage-dependent bioelectric signaling determines both head size and organ scaling during regeneration. RNA interference of the H(+),K(+)-ATPase ion pump results in membrane hyperpolarization, which has no effect on the amount of new tissue (blastema) that is regenerated yet produces regenerates with tiny 'shrunken' heads and proportionally oversized pharynges. Our data show that this disproportionality results from a lack of the apoptosis required to adjust head and organ size and placement, highlighting apoptotic remodeling as the link between bioelectric signaling and the establishment of organ size during regeneration.

  18. Correlating early evolution of parasitic platyhelminths to Gondwana breakup.

    PubMed

    Badets, Mathieu; Whittington, Ian; Lalubin, Fabrice; Allienne, Jean-Francois; Maspimby, Jean-Luc; Bentz, Sophie; Du Preez, Louis H; Barton, Diane; Hasegawa, Hideo; Tandon, Veena; Imkongwapang, Rangpenyuba; Imkongwapang, Rangpenyubai; Ohler, Annemarie; Combes, Claude; Verneau, Olivier

    2011-12-01

    Investigating patterns and processes of parasite diversification over ancient geological periods should involve comparisons of host and parasite phylogenies in a biogeographic context. It has been shown previously that the geographical distribution of host-specific parasites of sarcopterygians was guided, from Palaeozoic to Cainozoic times, mostly by evolution and diversification of their freshwater hosts. Here, we propose phylogenies of neobatrachian frogs and their specific parasites (Platyhelminthes, Monogenea) to investigate coevolutionary processes and historical biogeography of polystomes and further discuss all the possible assumptions that may account for the early evolution of these parasites. Phylogenetic analyses of concatenated rRNA nuclear genes (18S and partial 28S) supplemented by cophylogenetic and biogeographic vicariance analyses reveal four main parasite lineages that can be ascribed to centers of diversity, namely Australia, India, Africa, and South America. In addition, the relationships among these biogeographical monophyletic groups, substantiated by molecular dating, reflect sequential origins during the breakup of Gondwana. The Australian polystome lineage may have been isolated during the first stages of the breakup, whereas the Indian lineage would have arisen after the complete separation of western and eastern Gondwanan components. Next, polystomes would have codiverged with hyloid sensu stricto and ranoid frog lineages before the completion of South American and African plate separation. Ultimately, they would have undergone an extensive diversification in South America when their ancestral host families diversified. Therefore, the presence of polystome parasites in specific anuran host clades and in discrete geographic areas reveals the importance of biogeographic vicariance in diversification processes and supports the occurrence and radiation of amphibians over ancient and recent geological periods.

  19. Characterization of tyramine beta-hydroxylase in planarian Dugesia japonica: cloning and expression.

    PubMed

    Nishimura, Kaneyasu; Kitamura, Yoshihisa; Inoue, Takeshi; Umesono, Yoshihiko; Yoshimoto, Kanji; Taniguchi, Takashi; Agata, Kiyokazu

    2008-12-01

    The planarian Dugesia japonica has a relatively well-organized central nervous system (CNS) consisting of a brain and ventral nerve cords (VNCs), and can completely regenerate it CNS utilizing pluripotent stem cells present in the mesenchymal space. This remarkable capacity has begun to be exploited for research on neural regeneration. Recently, several kinds of molecular markers for labeling of neural subtypes have been reported in planarians. These molecular markers are useful for visualizing the distinct neural populations in planarians. In this study, we isolated a cDNA encoding tyramine beta-hydroxylase (TBH), an octopamine (OA) biosynthetic enzyme, by degenerate PCR in the planarian D. japonica, and named it DjTBH (D. japonica tyramine beta-hydroxylase). In order to examine whether DjTBH contributes to OA biosynthesis, we measured the OA content in DjTBH-knockdown planarians created by RNA interference. In addition, to examine the specificity of DjTBH for OA biosynthesis, we measured not only OA content but also noradrenaline (NA) content, because NA is synthesized by a pathway similar to that for OA. According to high-performance liquid chromatography analysis, the amount of OA, but not NA, was significantly decreased in DjTBH-knockdown planarians. In addition, we produced anti-DjTBH antibody to visualize the octopaminergic neural network. As shown by immunofluorescence analysis using anti-DjTBH antibody, DjTBH-immunopositive neurons were mainly distributed in the head region, and elongated their dendrites and/or axons along the VNCs. In order to visualize octopaminergic and dopaminergic nervous systems (phenolamine/catecholamine nervous system) in the planarian CNS, double-immunofluorescence analysis was carried out using both anti-DjTBH antibody and anti-DjTH (a planarian tyrosine hydroxylase) antibody. DjTBH-immunopositive neurons and DjTH-immunopositive neurons mainly formed distinct neural networks in the head region. Here, we demonstrated that Dj

  20. Behavioural responses of freshwater planarians after short-term exposure to the insecticide chlorantraniliprole.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Andreia C M; Henriques, Jorge F; Domingues, Inês; Golovko, Oksana; Žlábek, Vladimír; Barata, Carlos; Soares, Amadeu M V M; Pestana, João L T

    2016-01-01

    Recent advances in video tracking technologies provide the tools for a sensitive and reproducible analysis of invertebrate activity under stressful conditions nurturing the field of behavioural ecotoxicology. This study aimed to evaluate behavioural responses of the freshwater planarian Dugesia subtentaculata exposed to a model compound, chlorantraniliprole (CAP). This compound is an anthranilic diamide insecticide and due to its neurotoxic action can, at low concentrations, impair behaviour of exposed organisms. Behavioural endpoints measured included feeding and locomotor activities. Feeding responses were based on planarian predatory behaviour using Chironomus riparius larvae as prey. Locomotion was measured by the traditional planarian locomotor velocity (pLMV) assay and additionally using an automated video tracking system using a Zebrabox(®) (Viewpoint, France) device. While feeding and pLMV were significantly impaired at 131.7μg/L CAP, the video tracking system showed that total distance covered by planarians was significantly reduced at concentrations as low as 26.2μg/L CAP. Our results show that more advanced automated video recording systems can be used in the development of sensitive bioassays allowing a reliable, time- and cost-effective quantification of behaviour in aquatic invertebrates. Due to their ecological relevance, behavioural responses should not be disregarded in risk assessment strategies and we advocate the suitability of planarians as suitable organisms for behavioural ecotoxicological studies.

  1. Thermosensory signaling by TRPM is processed by brain serotonergic neurons to produce planarian thermotaxis.

    PubMed

    Inoue, Takeshi; Yamashita, Taiga; Agata, Kiyokazu

    2014-11-19

    For most organisms, sensitive recognition of even slight changes in environmental temperature is essential for adjusting their behavioral strategies to ensure homeostasis and survival. However, much remains to be understood about the molecular and cellular processes that regulate thermosensation and the corresponding behavioral responses. Planarians display clear thermotaxis, although they have a relatively simple brain. Here, we devised a quantitative thermotaxis assay and unraveled a neural pathway involved in planarian thermotaxis by combinatory behavioral assays and RNAi analysis. We found that thermosensory neurons that expressed a planarian Dugesia japonica homolog of the Transient Receptor Potential Melastatin family a (DjTRPMa) gene were required for the thermotaxis. Interestingly, although these thermosensory neurons are distributed throughout their body, planarians with a dysfunctional brain due to regeneration-dependent conditional gene knockdown (Readyknock) of the synaptotagmin gene completely lost their thermotactic behavior. These results suggest that brain function is required as a central processor for the thermosensory response. Therefore, we investigated the type(s) of brain neurons involved in processing the thermal signals by gene knockdown of limiting enzymes for neurotransmitter biosynthesis in the brain. We found that serotonergic neurons with dendrites that were elongated toward DjTRPMa-expressing thermosensory neurons might be required for the processing of signals from thermosensory neurons that results in thermotaxis. These results suggest that serotonergic neurons in the brain may interact with thermosensory neurons activated by TRPM ion channels to produce thermotaxis in planarians.

  2. Protective effect of planarian DJ-1 against 6-hydroxydopamine-induced neurotoxicity.

    PubMed

    Tsushima, Jun; Nishimura, Kaneyasu; Tashiro, Natsuka; Takata, Kazuyuki; Ashihara, Eishi; Yoshimoto, Kanji; Ariga, Hiroyoshi; Agata, Kiyokazu; Kitamura, Yoshihisa

    2012-12-01

    DJ-1/PARK7 has multiple functions as an antioxidant, an oncogene, and a molecular chaperone in vertebrates, and loss-of-function mutations in DJ-1 cause early onset of Parkinson's disease. However, the function of invertebrate DJ-1 remains unknown. In order to investigate the function of planarian DJ-1, we isolated the planarian DJ-1 gene Dugesia japonica DJ-1 (DjDJ-1) and analyzed its expression and function. In situ hybridization analysis revealed that DjDJ-1 mRNA was expressed throughout the body, including the central nervous system, cells surrounding the pharynx, and stem cells. Planarian DjDJ-1 protein exhibited antioxidant function, similar to human DJ-1, as evidenced by the fact that recombinant DjDJ-1 protein reduced reactive oxygen species and protected human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells from cell death. In addition, dopaminergic neurons in DjDJ-1(RNAi) planarians became susceptible to 6-hydroxydopamine, a dopaminergic neurotoxin. These results suggest that planarians have a DJ-1 ortholog, which has conserved antioxidant and neuroprotective functions.

  3. Identification and characterization of a phospholipid scramblase encoded by planarian Dugesia japonica.

    PubMed

    Han, Yu; Li, Ao; Gao, Lili; Wu, Weiwei; Deng, Hongkuan; Hu, Wenjing; Li, Na; Sun, Shimin; Zhang, Xiufang; Zhao, Bosheng; Liu, Baohua; Pang, Qiuxiang

    2017-02-20

    Phospholipid scramblases (PLSCRs) are the conserved calcium-binding, type II transmembrane proteins synthesized in all eukaryotic organisms. In mammals, these proteins play essential roles in various physiological processes, especially in the immune responses. However, the existence of PLSCRs and their biological functions in planarian are still unknown at present. In this study, a new member of PLSCRs was identified in planarian Dugesia japonica (D. japonica), named DjPLSCR. The sequence analysis revealed that it contains an opening reading frame consisting of 726bp encoding a putative protein of 241 amino acids with a predicted molecular mass of ~28.7kDa and an isoelectric point of 6.21. Whole-mount in situ hybridization showed that mRNAs of DjPLSCR are predominantly expressed in adult and regenerative pharynx which is an important organ of immune system in planarians. Importantly, we found that the transcription level of DjPLSCR was significantly upregulated when planarians were stimulated with the pathogen-associated molecular patterns [polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid, lipopolysaccharide, peptidoglycan and β-glucan], suggesting that DjPLSCR is involved in the immune response upon pathogen invasion. Our findings provide the first experimental insights into the characteristics and potential functions of PLSCR in planarians.

  4. Land planarian assemblages in protected areas of the interior atlantic forest: implications for conservation.

    PubMed

    Negrete, Lisandro; Colpo, Karine D; Brusa, Francisco

    2014-01-01

    Land planarians are an interesting group of free-living flatworms that can be useful as bioindicators because of their high sensitivity to environmental changes and low dispersal capacity. In this study, we describe and compare assemblages of land planarians from areas with different conservation degrees of the Interior Atlantic Forest (Misiones, Argentina), and assess factors that could be related to their abundance and richness. Eight sites were tracked in search of land planarians in Reserva de Vida Silvestre Urugua-í (RVSU) and Campo Anexo Manuel Belgrano (CAMB). Diurnal and nocturnal surveys were performed in each site along nine sampling campaigns. We collected 237 individuals belonging to 18 species of the subfamily Geoplaninae. All sites were dominated by Geoplana sp. 1 and Pasipha hauseri. The richness estimators showed that there would be more species in RVSU than in CAMB. The abundance and richness of land planarians was high during the night and after rainfalls, suggesting an increased activity of flatworms under such conditions. The abundance and richness of land planarians were also related to the conservation condition of the sites. Disturbed sites showed less abundance and richness, and were segregated from non-disturbed ones by nmMDS analysis. Beta diversity between sites was higher than expected, indicating that the species turnover between sites contributed more to the total richness (gamma diversity) than the alpha diversity.

  5. Effects of N,N-dimethylformamide on behaviour and regeneration of planarian Dugesia japonica.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jianyong; Yuan, Zuoqing; Zheng, Mingyue; Sun, Yuqian; Wang, Youjun; Yang, Shudong

    2013-09-01

    In this study, the toxicity, behavioural and regeneration effects of dimethylformamide (DMF) on planarian Dugesia japonica were investigated. One control and six different concentrations of DMF (10 ppm, 100 ppm, 500 ppm, 1000 ppm, 5000 ppm and 10,000 ppm) were used in triplicate. The results showed that the mortality was directly proportional to the DMF concentration and planarian locomotor velocity (pLMV) was significantly reduced by increasing the exposure time and DMF concentration. pLMV of D. japonica was significantly reduced at a lower concentration of 10 ppm after 7 days of continuous exposure to DMF. The recovery of the motility of planarians pretreated with DMF was found to be time- and dose dependent, all planarians had complete recovery in their motility after 48 h. The appearance of auricles in regenerating animals was easily affected by DMF exposure in comparison with the appearance of eyespot. The present results suggest that the intact adult mobility in the aquatic planarian D. japonica is a more sensitive biomarker than mortality, and the appearance of auricles in regenerating animals is a more sensitive biomarker than eyespot.

  6. Heterogeneity of chromatoid bodies in adult pluripotent stem cells of planarian Dugesia japonica.

    PubMed

    Kashima, Makoto; Kumagai, Nobuyoshi; Agata, Kiyokazu; Shibata, Norito

    2016-02-01

    The robust regenerative ability of planarians is known to be dependent on adult pluripotent stem cells called neoblasts. One of the morphological features of neoblasts is cytoplasmic ribonucleoprotein granules (chromatoid bodies: CBs), which resemble germ granules present in germline cells in other animals. Previously, we showed by immuno-electron microscopic analysis that DjCBC-1, a planarian Me31B/Dhh1/DDX6 homologue, which is a component of ribonucleoprotein granules, was localized in CBs in the planarian Dugesia japonica. Also, recently it was reported using another planarian species that Y12 antibody recognizing symmetrical dimethylarginine (sDMA) specifically binds to CBs in which histone mRNA is co-localized. Here, we showed by double immunostaining and RNA interference (RNAi) that DjCBC-1-containing CBs and Y12-immunoreactive CBs are distinct structures, suggesting that CBs are composed of heterogeneous populations. We also found that the Y12-immunoreactive CBs specifically contained a cytoplasmic type of planarian PIWI protein (DjPiwiC). We revealed by RNAi experiments that Y12-immunoreactive CBs may have anti-transposable element activity involving the DjPiwiC protein in the neoblasts.

  7. Planarian regeneration: achievements and future directions after 20 years of research.

    PubMed

    Saló, Emili; Abril, Josep F; Adell, Teresa; Cebrià, Francesc; Eckelt, Kay; Fernandez-Taboada, Enrique; Handberg-Thorsager, Mette; Iglesias, Marta; Molina, Maria Dolores; Rodríguez-Esteban, Gustavo

    2009-01-01

    Planarians can undergo dramatic changes in body size and regenerate their entire body plan from small pieces after cutting. This remarkable morphological plasticity has made them an excellent model in which to analyze phenomena such as morphogenesis, restoration of pattern and polarity, control of tissue proportions and tissue homeostasis. They have a unique population of pluripotent stem cells in the adult that can give rise to all differentiated cell types, including the germ cells. These cellular characteristics provide an excellent opportunity to study the mechanisms involved in the maintenance and differentiation of cell populations in intact and regenerating animals. Until recently, the planarian model system lacked opportunities for genetic analysis; however, this handicap was overcome in the last decade through the development of new molecular methods which have been successfully applied to planarians. These techniques have allowed analysis of the temporal and spatial expression of genes, as well as interference with gene function, generating the first phenotypes by loss or gain of function. Finally, the sequencing of the planarian genome has provided the essential tools for an in-depth analysis of the genomic regulation of this model system. In this review, we provide an overview of planarians as a model system for research into development and regeneration and describe new lines of investigation in this area.

  8. SmedOB1 is Required for Planarian Homeostasis and Regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Yin, Shanshan; Huang, Yan; Zhangfang, Yingnan; Zhong, Xiaoqin; Li, Pengqing; Huang, Junjiu; Liu, Dan; Songyang, Zhou

    2016-01-01

    The planarian flatworm is an emerging model that is useful for studying homeostasis and regeneration due to its unique adult stem cells (ASCs). Previously, planaria were found to share mammalian TTAGGG chromosome ends and telomerases; however, their telomere protection proteins have not yet been identified. In Schmidtea mediterranea, we identified a homologue of the human protection of telomeres 1 (POT1) with an OB-fold (SmedOB1). SmedOB1 is evolutionarily conserved among species and is ubiquitously expressed throughout the whole body. Feeding with SmedOB1 double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs) led to homeostasis abnormalities in the head and pharynx. Furthermore, several ASC progeny markers were downregulated, and regeneration was impaired. Here we found that SmedOB1 is required for telomeric DNA-protein complex formation and it associates with the telomere TTAGGG sequence in vitro. Moreover, DNA damage and apoptosis signals in planarian were significantly affected by SmedOB1 RNAi. We also confirmed these phenotypes in Dugesia japonica, another flatworm species. Our work identified a novel telomere-associated protein SmedOB1 in planarian, which is required for planarian homeostasis and regeneration. The phylogenetic and functional conservations of SmedOB1 provide one mechanism by which planarians maintain telomere and genome stability to ensure their immortality and shed light on the regeneration medicine of humans. PMID:27654173

  9. iTRAQ-Based Quantitative Proteomic Analysis of the Initiation of Head Regeneration in Planarians.

    PubMed

    Geng, Xiaofang; Wang, Gaiping; Qin, Yanli; Zang, Xiayan; Li, Pengfei; Geng, Zhi; Xue, Deming; Dong, Zimei; Ma, Kexue; Chen, Guangwen; Xu, Cunshuan

    2015-01-01

    The planarian Dugesia japonica has amazing ability to regenerate a head from the anterior ends of the amputated stump with maintenance of the original anterior-posterior polarity. Although planarians present an attractive system for molecular investigation of regeneration and research has focused on clarifying the molecular mechanism of regeneration initiation in planarians at transcriptional level, but the initiation mechanism of planarian head regeneration (PHR) remains unclear at the protein level. Here, a global analysis of proteome dynamics during the early stage of PHR was performed using isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ)-based quantitative proteomics strategy, and our data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD002100. The results showed that 162 proteins were differentially expressed at 2 h and 6 h following amputation. Furthermore, the analysis of expression patterns and functional enrichment of the differentially expressed proteins showed that proteins involved in muscle contraction, oxidation reduction and protein synthesis were up-regulated in the initiation of PHR. Moreover, ingenuity pathway analysis showed that predominant signaling pathways such as ILK, calcium, EIF2 and mTOR signaling which were associated with cell migration, cell proliferation and protein synthesis were likely to be involved in the initiation of PHR. The results for the first time demonstrated that muscle contraction and ILK signaling might played important roles in the initiation of PHR at the global protein level. The findings of this research provide a molecular basis for further unraveling the mechanism of head regeneration initiation in planarians.

  10. A Pitx transcription factor controls the establishment and maintenance of the serotonergic lineage in planarians.

    PubMed

    März, Martin; Seebeck, Florian; Bartscherer, Kerstin

    2013-11-01

    In contrast to adult vertebrates, which have limited capacities for neurogenesis, adult planarians undergo constitutive cellular turnover during homeostasis and are even able to regenerate a whole brain after decapitation. This enormous plasticity derives from pluripotent stem cells residing in the planarian body in large numbers. It is still obscure how these stem cells are programmed for differentiation into specific cell lineages and how lineage identity is maintained. Here we identify a Pitx transcription factor of crucial importance for planarian regeneration. In addition to patterning defects that are co-dependent on the LIM homeobox transcription factor gene islet1, which is expressed with pitx at anterior and posterior regeneration poles, RNAi against pitx results in islet1-independent specific loss of serotonergic (SN) neurons during regeneration. Besides its expression in terminally differentiated SN neurons we found pitx in stem cell progeny committed to the SN fate. Also, intact pitx RNAi animals gradually lose SN markers, a phenotype that depends neither on increased apoptosis nor on stem cell-based turnover or transdifferentiation into other neurons. We propose that pitx is a terminal selector gene for SN neurons in planarians that controls not only their maturation but also their identity by regulating the expression of the Serotonin production and transport machinery. Finally, we made use of this function of pitx and compared the transcriptomes of regenerating planarians with and without functional SN neurons, identifying at least three new neuronal targets of Pitx.

  11. EGFR signaling regulates cell proliferation, differentiation and morphogenesis during planarian regeneration and homeostasis.

    PubMed

    Fraguas, Susanna; Barberán, Sara; Cebrià, Francesc

    2011-06-01

    Similarly to development, the process of regeneration requires that cells accurately sense and respond to their external environment. Thus, intrinsic cues must be integrated with signals from the surrounding environment to ensure appropriate temporal and spatial regulation of tissue regeneration. Identifying the signaling pathways that control these events will not only provide insights into a fascinating biological phenomenon but may also yield new molecular targets for use in regenerative medicine. Among classical models to study regeneration, freshwater planarians represent an attractive system in which to investigate the signals that regulate cell proliferation and differentiation, as well as the proper patterning of the structures being regenerated. Recent studies in planarians have begun to define the role of conserved signaling pathways during regeneration. Here, we extend these analyses to the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor pathway. We report the characterization of three epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptors in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. Silencing of these genes by RNA interference (RNAi) yielded multiple defects in intact and regenerating planarians. Smed-egfr-1(RNAi) resulted in decreased differentiation of eye pigment cells, abnormal pharynx regeneration and maintenance, and the development of dorsal outgrowths. In contrast, Smed-egfr-3(RNAi) animals produced smaller blastemas associated with abnormal differentiation of certain cell types. Our results suggest important roles for the EGFR signaling in controlling cell proliferation, differentiation and morphogenesis during planarian regeneration and homeostasis.

  12. A molecular wound response program associated with regeneration initiation in planarians.

    PubMed

    Wenemoser, Danielle; Lapan, Sylvain W; Wilkinson, Alex W; Bell, George W; Reddien, Peter W

    2012-05-01

    Planarians are capable of regenerating any missing body part and present an attractive system for molecular investigation of regeneration initiation. The gene activation program that occurs at planarian wounds to coordinate regenerative responses remains unknown. We identified a large set of wound-induced genes during regeneration initiation in planarians. Two waves of wound-induced gene expression occurred in differentiated tissues. The first wave includes conserved immediate early genes. Many second-wave genes encode conserved patterning factors required for proper regeneration. Genes of both classes were generally induced by wounding, indicating that a common initial gene expression program is triggered regardless of missing tissue identity. Planarian regeneration uses a population of regenerative cells (neoblasts), including pluripotent stem cells. A class of wound-induced genes was activated directly within neoblasts, including the Runx transcription factor-encoding runt-1 gene. runt-1 was required for specifying different cell types during regeneration, promoting heterogeneity in neoblasts near wounds. Wound-induced gene expression in neoblasts, including that of runt-1, required SRF (serum response factor) and sos-1. Taken together, these data connect wound sensation to the activation of specific cell type regeneration programs in neoblasts. Most planarian wound-induced genes are conserved across metazoans, and identified genes and mechanisms should be important broadly for understanding wound signaling and regeneration initiation.

  13. Expression patterns of the STAG gene in intact and regenerating planarians (Dugesia japonica).

    PubMed

    Yuan, Z Q; Zhao, B S; Zhang, J Y

    2011-03-09

    We examined the spatial and temporal expression of the planarian Dugesia japonica STAG-related gene (DjStag), in both intact and regenerating planarians, by whole-mount in situ hybridization and relative quantitative real-time PCR. The first localized transcripts of DjStag were detected in the blastemas three days after amputation, in all regenerates including those from head, tail and trunk pieces. The maximum level of expression of DjStag transcripts occurred at five days after cutting. After regeneration for seven days, DjStag was weakly expressed. A similar decrease occurs regardless of the orientation of the cut. The expression pattern did not differ significantly in the different types of regeneration. Relative quantitative real-time PCR analysis of DjStag mRNA indicated that the expression of DjStag mRNA was increased after amputation compared to that in normal intact planarians, and the maximum level of expression of DjStag transcripts occurred at five days after amputation. All results suggest that DjStag, implicated in planarian regeneration, plays a role in maintaining the ability of pluripotent stem cells to regenerate lost tissue in planarians.

  14. Planarian myosin essential light chain is involved in the formation of brain lateral branches during regeneration.

    PubMed

    Yu, Shuying; Chen, Xuhui; Yuan, Zuoqing; Zhou, Luming; Pang, Qiuxiang; Mao, Bingyu; Zhao, Bosheng

    2015-08-01

    The myosin essential light chain (ELC) is a structure component of the actomyosin cross-bridge, however, the functions in the central nervous system (CNS) development and regeneration remain poorly understood. Planarian Dugesia japonica has revealed fundamental mechanisms and unique aspects of neuroscience and neuroregeneration. In this study, the cDNA DjElc, encoding a planarian essential light chain of myosin, was identified from the planarian Dugesia japonica cDNA library. It encodes a deduced protein with highly conserved functionally domains EF-Hand and Ca(2+) binding sites that shares significant similarity with other members of ELC. Whole mount in situ hybridization studies show that DjElc expressed in CNS during embryonic development and regeneration of adult planarians. Loss of function of DjElc by RNA interference during planarian regeneration inhibits brain lateral branches regeneration completely. In conclusion, these results demonstrated that DjElc is required for maintenance of neurons and neurite outgrowth, particularly for involving the brain later branch regeneration.

  15. Noggin and noggin-like genes control dorsoventral axis regeneration in planarians.

    PubMed

    Molina, M Dolores; Neto, Ana; Maeso, Ignacio; Gómez-Skarmeta, José Luis; Saló, Emili; Cebrià, Francesc

    2011-02-22

    Planarians regenerate a whole animal from a small body piece within a few days. Recent studies have shown that the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) pathway is required to reestablish the dorsoventral (DV) axis. In vertebrates, the specification of the DV axis depends on the coordinated action of a dual organizer defined by BMP and antidorsalizing morphogenetic protein (ADMP) under the control of several factors, including the inhibitors chordin and noggin. Planarians have an expanded noggin family (up to ten members), which have been classified as canonical noggin (nog) and noggin-like (nlg) genes, the latter carrying an insertion within the noggin domain. Here we show that a BMP/ADMP organizer governs DV axis reestablishment during planarian regeneration, highlighting a greater-than-thought conservation of the mechanisms that establish this axis in protostomes and deuterostomes. Also, we report that whereas noggin genes function as canonical BMP inhibitors, the silencing of planarian nlg8 induces ectopic neurogenesis and enhances ventralizing bmp(RNAi) phenotypes. Finally, we show that noggin-like genes are conserved from cnidarian to vertebrates and that both planarian nlg8 and Xenopus nlg ventralize Xenopus embryos when overexpressed. Remarkably, this ventralization is not associated with an increase in SMAD1/5/8 phosphorylation.

  16. Follistatin antagonizes activin signaling and acts with notum to direct planarian head regeneration.

    PubMed

    Roberts-Galbraith, Rachel H; Newmark, Phillip A

    2013-01-22

    Animals establish their body plans in embryogenesis, but only a few animals can recapitulate this signaling milieu for regeneration after injury. In planarians, a pluripotent stem cell population and perpetual signaling of polarity axes collaborate to direct a steady replacement of cells during homeostasis and to power robust regeneration after even severe injuries. Several studies have documented the roles of conserved signaling pathways in maintaining and resetting axial polarity in planarians, but it is unclear how planarians reestablish polarity signaling centers after injury and whether these centers serve to influence identity decisions of stem cell progeny during their differentiation. Here we find that a planarian Follistatin homolog directs regeneration of anterior identity by opposing an Activin/ActR-1/Smad2/3 signaling pathway. Follistatin and Notum, a Wnt inhibitor, are mutually required to reestablish an anterior signaling center that expresses both cues. Furthermore, we show that the direction of cells down particular differentiation paths requires regeneration of this anterior signaling center. Just as its amphibian counterpart in the organizer signals body plan and cell fate during embryogenesis, planarian Follistatin promotes reestablishment of anterior polarity during regeneration and influences specification of cell types in the head and beyond.

  17. Regeneration and maintenance of the planarian midline is regulated by a slit orthologue.

    PubMed

    Cebrià, Francesc; Guo, Tingxia; Jopek, Jessica; Newmark, Phillip A

    2007-07-15

    Several families of evolutionarily conserved axon guidance cues orchestrate the precise wiring of the nervous system during embryonic development. The remarkable plasticity of freshwater planarians provides the opportunity to study these molecules in the context of neural regeneration and maintenance. Here we characterize a homologue of the Slit family of guidance cues from the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. Smed-slit is expressed along the planarian midline, in both dorsal and ventral domains. RNA interference (RNAi) targeting Smed-slit results in the collapse of many newly regenerated tissues at the midline; these include the cephalic ganglia, ventral nerve cords, photoreceptors, and the posterior digestive system. Surprisingly, Smed-slit RNAi knockdown animals also develop morphologically distinguishable, ectopic neural structures near the midline in uninjured regions of intact and regenerating planarians. These results suggest that Smed-slit acts not only as a repulsive cue required for proper midline formation during regeneration but that it may also act to regulate the behavior of neural precursors at the midline in intact planarians.

  18. Morphological and molecular development of the eyes during embryogenesis of the freshwater planarian Schmidtea polychroa.

    PubMed

    Martín-Durán, José María; Monjo, Francisco; Romero, Rafael

    2012-03-01

    Photoreception is one of the most primitive sensory functions in metazoans. Despite the diversity of forms and components of metazoan eyes, many studies have demonstrated the existence of a common cellular and molecular basis for their development. Genes like pax6, sine oculis, eyes absent, dachshund, otx, Rx and atonal are known to be associated with the specification and development of the eyes. In planarians, sine oculis, eyes absent and otxA play an essential role during the formation of the eye after decapitation, whereas pax6, considered by many authors as a master control gene for eye formation, does not seem to be involved in adult eye regeneration. Whether this is a peculiarity of adult planarians or, on the contrary, is also found in embryogenesis remains unknown. Herein, we characterize embryonic eye development in the planarian species Schmidtea polychroa using histological sections and molecular markers. Additionally, we analyse the expression pattern of the pax6-sine oculis-eyes absent-dachshund network, and the genes Rx, otxA, otxB and atonal. We demonstrate that eye formation in planarian embryos shows great similarities to adult eye regeneration, both at the cellular and molecular level. We thus conclude that planarian eyes exhibit divergent molecular patterning mechanisms compared to the prototypic ancestral metazoan eye.

  19. iTRAQ-Based Quantitative Proteomic Analysis of the Initiation of Head Regeneration in Planarians

    PubMed Central

    Geng, Xiaofang; Wang, Gaiping; Qin, Yanli; Zang, Xiayan; Li, Pengfei; Geng, Zhi; Xue, Deming; Dong, Zimei; Ma, Kexue; Chen, Guangwen; Xu, Cunshuan

    2015-01-01

    The planarian Dugesia japonica has amazing ability to regenerate a head from the anterior ends of the amputated stump with maintenance of the original anterior-posterior polarity. Although planarians present an attractive system for molecular investigation of regeneration and research has focused on clarifying the molecular mechanism of regeneration initiation in planarians at transcriptional level, but the initiation mechanism of planarian head regeneration (PHR) remains unclear at the protein level. Here, a global analysis of proteome dynamics during the early stage of PHR was performed using isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ)-based quantitative proteomics strategy, and our data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD002100. The results showed that 162 proteins were differentially expressed at 2 h and 6 h following amputation. Furthermore, the analysis of expression patterns and functional enrichment of the differentially expressed proteins showed that proteins involved in muscle contraction, oxidation reduction and protein synthesis were up-regulated in the initiation of PHR. Moreover, ingenuity pathway analysis showed that predominant signaling pathways such as ILK, calcium, EIF2 and mTOR signaling which were associated with cell migration, cell proliferation and protein synthesis were likely to be involved in the initiation of PHR. The results for the first time demonstrated that muscle contraction and ILK signaling might played important roles in the initiation of PHR at the global protein level. The findings of this research provide a molecular basis for further unraveling the mechanism of head regeneration initiation in planarians. PMID:26131905

  20. Posterior Wnts Have Distinct Roles in Specification and Patterning of the Planarian Posterior Region

    PubMed Central

    Sureda-Gómez, Miquel; Pascual-Carreras, Eudald; Adell, Teresa

    2015-01-01

    The wnt signaling pathway is an intercellular communication mechanism essential in cell-fate specification, tissue patterning and regional-identity specification. A βcatenin-dependent signal specifies the AP (Anteroposterior) axis of planarians, both during regeneration of new tissues and during normal homeostasis. Accordingly, four wnts (posterior wnts) are expressed in a nested manner in central and posterior regions of planarians. We have analyzed the specific role of each posterior wnt and the possible cooperation between them in specifying and patterning planarian central and posterior regions. We show that each posterior wnt exerts a distinct role during re-specification and maintenance of the central and posterior planarian regions, and that the integration of the different wnt signals (βcatenin dependent and independent) underlies the patterning of the AP axis from the central region to the tip of the tail. Based on these findings and data from the literature, we propose a model for patterning the planarian AP axis. PMID:26556349

  1. Land Planarian Assemblages in Protected Areas of the Interior Atlantic Forest: Implications for Conservation

    PubMed Central

    Negrete, Lisandro; Colpo, Karine D.; Brusa, Francisco

    2014-01-01

    Land planarians are an interesting group of free-living flatworms that can be useful as bioindicators because of their high sensitivity to environmental changes and low dispersal capacity. In this study, we describe and compare assemblages of land planarians from areas with different conservation degrees of the Interior Atlantic Forest (Misiones, Argentina), and assess factors that could be related to their abundance and richness. Eight sites were tracked in search of land planarians in Reserva de Vida Silvestre Urugua-í (RVSU) and Campo Anexo Manuel Belgrano (CAMB). Diurnal and nocturnal surveys were performed in each site along nine sampling campaigns. We collected 237 individuals belonging to 18 species of the subfamily Geoplaninae. All sites were dominated by Geoplana sp. 1 and Pasipha hauseri. The richness estimators showed that there would be more species in RVSU than in CAMB. The abundance and richness of land planarians was high during the night and after rainfalls, suggesting an increased activity of flatworms under such conditions. The abundance and richness of land planarians were also related to the conservation condition of the sites. Disturbed sites showed less abundance and richness, and were segregated from non-disturbed ones by nmMDS analysis. Beta diversity between sites was higher than expected, indicating that the species turnover between sites contributed more to the total richness (gamma diversity) than the alpha diversity. PMID:24598934

  2. A functional genomics screen in planarians reveals regulators of whole-brain regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Roberts-Galbraith, Rachel H; Brubacher, John L; Newmark, Phillip A

    2016-01-01

    Planarians regenerate all body parts after injury, including the central nervous system (CNS). We capitalized on this distinctive trait and completed a gene expression-guided functional screen to identify factors that regulate diverse aspects of neural regeneration in Schmidtea mediterranea. Our screen revealed molecules that influence neural cell fates, support the formation of a major connective hub, and promote reestablishment of chemosensory behavior. We also identified genes that encode signaling molecules with roles in head regeneration, including some that are produced in a previously uncharacterized parenchymal population of cells. Finally, we explored genes downregulated during planarian regeneration and characterized, for the first time, glial cells in the planarian CNS that respond to injury by repressing several transcripts. Collectively, our studies revealed diverse molecules and cell types that underlie an animal’s ability to regenerate its brain. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.17002.001 PMID:27612384

  3. A functional genomics screen in planarians reveals regulators of whole-brain regeneration.

    PubMed

    Roberts-Galbraith, Rachel H; Brubacher, John L; Newmark, Phillip A

    2016-09-09

    Planarians regenerate all body parts after injury, including the central nervous system (CNS). We capitalized on this distinctive trait and completed a gene expression-guided functional screen to identify factors that regulate diverse aspects of neural regeneration in Schmidtea mediterranea. Our screen revealed molecules that influence neural cell fates, support the formation of a major connective hub, and promote reestablishment of chemosensory behavior. We also identified genes that encode signaling molecules with roles in head regeneration, including some that are produced in a previously uncharacterized parenchymal population of cells. Finally, we explored genes downregulated during planarian regeneration and characterized, for the first time, glial cells in the planarian CNS that respond to injury by repressing several transcripts. Collectively, our studies revealed diverse molecules and cell types that underlie an animal's ability to regenerate its brain.

  4. Quantitative characterization of planarian wild-type behavior as a platform for screening locomotion phenotypes.

    PubMed

    Talbot, Jared; Schötz, Eva-Maria

    2011-04-01

    Changes in animal behavior resulting from genetic or chemical intervention are frequently used for phenotype characterizations. The majority of these studies are qualitative in nature, especially in systems that go beyond the classical model organisms. Here, we introduce a quantitative method to characterize behavior in the freshwater planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. Wild-type locomotion in confinement was quantified using a wide set of parameters, and the influences of intrinsic intra-worm versus inter-worm variability on our measurements was studied. We also examined the effect of substrate, confinement geometry and the interactions with the boundary on planarian behavior. The method is based on a simple experimental setup, using automated center-of-mass tracking and image analysis, making it an easily implemented alternative to current methods for screening planarian locomotion phenotypes. As a proof of principle, two drug-induced behavioral phenotypes were generated to show the capacity of this method.

  5. An RNAi screen reveals intestinal regulators of branching morphogenesis, differentiation, and stem cell proliferation in planarians

    PubMed Central

    Forsthoefel, David J.; James, Noelle P.; Escobar, David J.; Stary, Joel M.; Vieira, Ana P.; Waters, Forrest A.; Newmark, Phillip A.

    2012-01-01

    SUMMARY Planarians grow and regenerate organs by coordinating proliferation and differentiation of pluripotent stem cells with remodeling of post-mitotic tissues. Understanding how these processes are orchestrated requires characterizing cell type-specific gene expression programs and their regulation during regeneration and homeostasis. To this end, we analyzed the expression profile of planarian intestinal phagocytes, cells responsible for digestion and nutrient storage/distribution. Utilizing RNA interference, we identified cytoskeletal regulators required for intestinal branching morphogenesis, and a modulator of bioactive sphingolipid metabolism, ceramide synthase, required for the production of functional phagocytes. Additionally, we found that a gut-enriched homeobox transcription factor, nkx-2.2, is required for somatic stem cell proliferation, suggesting a niche-like role for phagocytes. Identification of evolutionarily conserved regulators of intestinal branching, differentiation, and stem cell dynamics demonstrates the utility of the planarian digestive system as a model for elucidating the mechanisms controlling post-embryonic organogenesis. PMID:23079596

  6. Smed-betacatenin-1 is required for anteroposterior blastema polarity in planarian regeneration.

    PubMed

    Petersen, Christian P; Reddien, Peter W

    2008-01-18

    Planarian flatworms can regenerate heads at anterior-facing wounds and tails at posterior-facing wounds throughout the body. How this regeneration polarity is specified has been a classic problem for more than a century. We identified a planarian gene, Smed-betacatenin-1, that controls regeneration polarity. Posterior-facing blastemas regenerate a head instead of a tail in Smed-betacatenin-1(RNAi) animals. Smed-betacatenin-1 is required after wounding and at any posterior-facing wound for polarity. Additionally, intact Smed-betacatenin-1(RNAi) animals display anteriorization during tissue turnover. Five Wnt genes and a secreted Frizzled-related Wnt antagonist-like gene are expressed in domains along the anteroposterior axis that reset to new positions during regeneration, which suggests that Wnts control polarity through Smed-betacatenin-1. Our data suggest that beta-catenin specifies the posterior character of the anteroposterior axis throughout the Bilateria and specifies regeneration polarity in planarians.

  7. The maintenance and regeneration of the planarian excretory system are regulated by EGFR signaling.

    PubMed

    Rink, Jochen C; Vu, Hanh Thi-Kim; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro

    2011-09-01

    The maintenance of organs and their regeneration in case of injury are crucial to the survival of all animals. High rates of tissue turnover and nearly unlimited regenerative capabilities make planarian flatworms an ideal system with which to investigate these important processes, yet little is known about the cell biology and anatomy of their organs. Here we focus on the planarian excretory system, which consists of internal protonephridial tubules. We find that these assemble into complex branching patterns with a stereotyped succession of cell types along their length. Organ regeneration is likely to originate from a precursor structure arising in the blastema, which undergoes extensive branching morphogenesis. In an RNAi screen of signaling molecules, we identified an EGF receptor (Smed-EGFR-5) as a crucial regulator of branching morphogenesis and maintenance. Overall, our characterization of the planarian protonephridial system establishes a new paradigm for regenerative organogenesis and provides a platform for exploring its functional and evolutionary homologies with vertebrate excretory systems.

  8. Antimicrobial capacity of the freshwater planarians against S. aureus is under the control of Timeless.

    PubMed

    Tsoumtsa, Landry Laure; Torre, Cedric; Trouplin, Virginie; Coiffard, Benjamin; Gimenez, Gregory; Mege, Jean-Louis; Ghigo, Eric

    2017-01-04

    Planarians, which are non-parasitic flatworms, are highly resistant to bacterial infections. To better understand the mechanisms underlying this resistance, we investigated the role of the circadian machinery in the anti-bacterial response of the freshwater planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. We identified Smed-Tim from S. mediterranea as a homolog of the mammalian clock gene Tim. We showed via RNA interference that Smed-Tim is required for the anti-microbial activities of Schmidtea mediterranea against Staphylococcus aureus infection during the light/dark cycle. Indeed, S. aureus infection leads to the expression of Smed-Tim, which in turn promotes Smed-Traf6 and Smed-morn2, but not Smed-p38 MAPK expression, 2 master regulators of planarian anti-microbial responses.

  9. Expression of hsp90 mediates cytoprotective effects in the gastrodermis of planarians.

    PubMed

    Conte, Maria; Isolani, Maria Emilia; Deri, Paolo; Mannini, Linda; Batistoni, Renata

    2011-01-01

    Heat shock proteins (HSPs) play a crucial role in the protection of cells. In the present study, we have identified an hsp90-related gene (Djhsp90) encoding a cytosolic form of HSP90 that is primarily expressed in gastrodermis of the planarian Dugesia japonica. Djhsp90 becomes significantly induced after traumatic amputation or other stress stimuli, such as exposure to X-ray or ultraviolet radiations, heat shock, or prolonged starvation. When Djhsp90 is silenced by ribonucleic acid interference (RNAi), planarians dramatically decrease in size, becoming unable to eat, and die in a few weeks. Our results indicate that this gene plays an essential cytoprotective role in the gastrodermis of planarians and suggest that this chaperone can be involved in autophagic processes that are activated by this tissue.

  10. A functional genomic screen in planarians identifies novel regulators of germ cell development.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yuying; Stary, Joel M; Wilhelm, James E; Newmark, Phillip A

    2010-09-15

    Germ cells serve as intriguing examples of differentiated cells that retain the capacity to generate all cell types of an organism. Here we used functional genomic approaches in planarians to identify genes required for proper germ cell development. We conducted microarray analyses and in situ hybridization to discover and validate germ cell-enriched transcripts, and then used RNAi to screen for genes required for discrete stages of germ cell development. The majority of genes we identified encode conserved RNA-binding proteins, several of which have not been implicated previously in germ cell development. We also show that a germ cell-specific subunit of the conserved transcription factor CCAAT-binding protein/nuclear factor-Y is required for maintaining spermatogonial stem cells. Our results demonstrate that conserved transcriptional and post-transcriptional mechanisms regulate germ cell development in planarians. These findings suggest that studies of planarians will inform our understanding of germ cell biology in higher organisms.

  11. An RNAi screen reveals intestinal regulators of branching morphogenesis, differentiation, and stem cell proliferation in planarians.

    PubMed

    Forsthoefel, David J; James, Noëlle P; Escobar, David J; Stary, Joel M; Vieira, Ana P; Waters, Forrest A; Newmark, Phillip A

    2012-10-16

    Planarians grow and regenerate organs by coordinating proliferation and differentiation of pluripotent stem cells with remodeling of postmitotic tissues. Understanding how these processes are orchestrated requires characterizing cell-type-specific gene expression programs and their regulation during regeneration and homeostasis. To this end, we analyzed the expression profile of planarian intestinal phagocytes, cells responsible for digestion and nutrient storage/distribution. Utilizing RNA interference, we identified cytoskeletal regulators required for intestinal branching morphogenesis and a modulator of bioactive sphingolipid metabolism, ceramide synthase, required for the production of functional phagocytes. Additionally, we found that a gut-enriched homeobox transcription factor, nkx-2.2, is required for somatic stem cell proliferation, suggesting a niche-like role for phagocytes. Identification of evolutionarily conserved regulators of intestinal branching, differentiation, and stem cell dynamics demonstrates the utility of the planarian digestive system as a model for elucidating the mechanisms controlling postembryonic organogenesis.

  12. Integrins are required for tissue organization and restriction of neurogenesis in regenerating planarians

    PubMed Central

    Seebeck, Florian; März, Martin; Meyer, Anna-Wiebke; Reuter, Hanna; Vogg, Matthias C.; Stehling, Martin; Mildner, Karina; Zeuschner, Dagmar; Rabert, Franziska

    2017-01-01

    Tissue regeneration depends on proliferative cells and on cues that regulate cell division, differentiation, patterning and the restriction of these processes once regeneration is complete. In planarians, flatworms with high regenerative potential, muscle cells express some of these instructive cues. Here, we show that members of the integrin family of adhesion molecules are required for the integrity of regenerating tissues, including the musculature. Remarkably, in regenerating β1-integrin RNAi planarians, we detected increased numbers of mitotic cells and progenitor cell types, as well as a reduced ability of stem cells and lineage-restricted progenitor cells to accumulate at wound sites. These animals also formed ectopic spheroid structures of neural identity in regenerating heads. Interestingly, those polarized assemblies comprised a variety of neural cells and underwent continuous growth. Our study indicates that integrin-mediated cell adhesion is required for the regenerative formation of organized tissues and for restricting neurogenesis during planarian regeneration. PMID:28137894

  13. Integrins are required for tissue organization and restriction of neurogenesis in regenerating planarians.

    PubMed

    Seebeck, Florian; März, Martin; Meyer, Anna-Wiebke; Reuter, Hanna; Vogg, Matthias C; Stehling, Martin; Mildner, Karina; Zeuschner, Dagmar; Rabert, Franziska; Bartscherer, Kerstin

    2017-03-01

    Tissue regeneration depends on proliferative cells and on cues that regulate cell division, differentiation, patterning and the restriction of these processes once regeneration is complete. In planarians, flatworms with high regenerative potential, muscle cells express some of these instructive cues. Here, we show that members of the integrin family of adhesion molecules are required for the integrity of regenerating tissues, including the musculature. Remarkably, in regenerating β1-integrin RNAi planarians, we detected increased numbers of mitotic cells and progenitor cell types, as well as a reduced ability of stem cells and lineage-restricted progenitor cells to accumulate at wound sites. These animals also formed ectopic spheroid structures of neural identity in regenerating heads. Interestingly, those polarized assemblies comprised a variety of neural cells and underwent continuous growth. Our study indicates that integrin-mediated cell adhesion is required for the regenerative formation of organized tissues and for restricting neurogenesis during planarian regeneration.

  14. Interrelationships and evolution of the tapeworms (Platyhelminthes: Cestoda).

    PubMed

    Olson, P D; Littlewood, D T; Bray, R A; Mariaux, J

    2001-06-01

    Interrelationships of the tapeworms (Platyhelminthes: Cestoda) were examined by use of small (SSU) and large (LSU) subunit ribosomal DNA sequences and morphological characters. Fifty new complete SSU sequences were added to 21 sequences previously determined, and 71 new LSU (D1-D3) sequences were determined for the complementary set of taxa representing each of the major lineages of cestodes as currently understood. New sequences were determined for three amphilinidean taxa, but were removed from both alignments due to their excessively high degree of divergence from other cestode sequences. A morphological character matrix coded for supraspecific taxa was constructed by the modification of matrices from recently published studies. Maximum-parsimony (MP) analyses were performed on the LSU, SSU, LSU+SSU, and morphological data partitions, and minimum-evolution (ME) analyses utilizing a general time reversible model of nucleotide substitution including estimates of among-site rate heterogeneity were performed on the molecular data partitions. Resulting topologies were rooted at the node separating the Gyrocotylidea from the Eucestoda. The LSU data were found to be more informative than the SSU data and were more consistent with inferences from morphology, although nodal support was generally weak for most basal nodes. One class of transitions was found to be saturated for comparisons between the most distantly related taxa (gyrocotylideans vs cyclophyllideans and tetrabothriideans). Differences in the topologies resulting from MP and ME analyses were not statistically significant. Nonstrobilate orders formed the basal lineages of trees resulting from analysis of LSU data and morphology. Difossate orders were basal to tetrafossate orders, the latter of which formed a strongly supported clade. A clade including the orders Cyclophyllidea, Nippotaeniidea, and Tetrabothriidea was supported by all data partitions and methods of analysis. Paraphyly of the orders

  15. Heterogeneity of planarian stem cells in the S/G2/M phase.

    PubMed

    Moritz, Sören; Stöckle, Franziska; Ortmeier, Claudia; Schmitz, Henning; Rodríguez-Esteban, Gustavo; Key, Göran; Gentile, Luca

    2012-01-01

    The planarian adult stem cell (pASC) population has a specific molecular signature and can be easily visualized and isolated by flow cytometry. However, the lack of antibodies against specific surface markers for planarian cells prevents a deeper analysis of specific cell populations. Here, if we describe the results of the immunoscreening of pASC plasma membrane proteins (PMPs). A novel papain-based method for planarian cell dissociation enabling both high yield and improved cell viability was used to generate single cell preparations for PMP purification. PMPs were used for intraperitoneal immunization of mice and thus about 1000 hybridoma clones were generated and screened. Supernatants collected from the hybridoma clones were first screened by ELISA and then by live immuno-staining. About half of these supernatants stained all the planarian cells, whereas the other half specifically labeled a subfraction thereof. A detailed analysis of two hybridoma supernatants revealed that large subfractions of the X1, X2 and Xin populations differentially express specific membrane markers. Quantitative PCR data disclosed a correlation between the immunostaining results and the expression of markers of the early and late progeny, also for those pASCs in the S/G2/M phase of the cell cycle (X1 population). Thus, about two thirds of the cycling pASCs showed a specific membrane signature coupled with the expression of markers hitherto considered to be restricted to differentiating, post-mitotic progeny. In summary, a library of 66 monoclonal antibodies against planarian PMPs was generated. The analysis of two of the clones generated revealed that a subset of cells of the X1 population expresses early and late progeny markers, which might indicate that these cells are committed while still proliferating. The findings demonstrate the usefulness of our PMP antibody library for planarian research.

  16. The molecular logic for planarian regeneration along the anterior-posterior axis.

    PubMed

    Umesono, Yoshihiko; Tasaki, Junichi; Nishimura, Yui; Hrouda, Martina; Kawaguchi, Eri; Yazawa, Shigenobu; Nishimura, Osamu; Hosoda, Kazutaka; Inoue, Takeshi; Agata, Kiyokazu

    2013-08-01

    The planarian Dugesia japonica can regenerate a complete individual from a head, trunk or tail fragment via activation of somatic pluripotent stem cells. About a century ago, Thomas Hunt Morgan attempted to explain the extraordinary regenerative ability of planarians by positing two opposing morphogenetic gradients of formative "head stuff" and "tail stuff" along the anterior-posterior axis. However, Morgan's hypothesis remains open to debate. Here we show that extracellular signal-related kinase (ERK) and Wnt/β-catenin signalling pathways establish a solid framework for planarian regeneration. Our data suggest that ERK signalling forms a spatial gradient in the anterior region during regeneration. The fibroblast growth factor receptor-like gene nou-darake (which serves as an output of ERK signalling in the differentiating head) and posteriorly biased β-catenin activity negatively regulate ERK signalling along the anterior-posterior axis in distinct manners, and thereby posteriorize regenerating tissues outside the head region to reconstruct a complete head-to-tail axis. On the basis of this knowledge about D. japonica, we proposed that β-catenin signalling is responsible for the lack of head-regenerative ability of tail fragments in the planarian Phagocata kawakatsui, and our confirmation thereof supports the notion that posterior β-catenin signalling negatively modulates the ERK signalling involved in anteriorization across planarian species. These findings suggest that ERK signalling has a pivotal role in triggering globally dynamic differentiation of stem cells in a head-to-tail sequence through a default program that promotes head tissue specification in the absence of posteriorizing signals. Thus, we have confirmed the broad outline of Morgan's hypothesis, and refined it on the basis of our proposed default property of planarian stem cells.

  17. Evidence of Nicotine-Induced, Curare-Insensitive, Behavior in Planarians.

    PubMed

    Pagán, Oné R; Montgomery, Erica; Deats, Sean; Bach, Daniel; Baker, Debra

    2015-10-01

    Planarians are rapidly developing into very useful research subjects in pharmacology and neuroscience research. Here we report that curare, a cholinergic nicotinic receptor antagonist, alleviates the nicotine-induced planarian seizure-like movements (pSLM) by up to 50 % at equimolar concentrations of nicotine and curare (1 mM), while curare alone does not induce significant pSLMs. The simplest interpretation of our data is that there are nicotine induced behaviors insensitive to curare in our experimental organism. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on curare-insensitive, nicotine-induced effects in any organism.

  18. The planarian nanos-like gene Smednos is expressed in germline and eye precursor cells during development and regeneration.

    PubMed

    Handberg-Thorsager, Mette; Saló, Emili

    2007-05-01

    Planarians are highly regenerative organisms with the ability to remake all their cell types, including the germ cells. The germ cells have been suggested to arise from totipotent neoblasts through epigenetic mechanisms. Nanos is a zinc-finger protein with a widely conserved role in the maintenance of germ cell identity. In this work, we describe the expression of a planarian nanos-like gene Smednos in two kinds of precursor cells namely, primordial germ cells and eye precursor cells, during both development and regeneration of the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. In sexual planarians, Smednos is expressed in presumptive male primordial germ cells of embryos from stage 8 of embryogenesis and throughout development of the male gonads and in the female primordial germ cells of the ovary. Thus, upon hatching, juvenile planarians do possess primordial germ cells. In the asexual strain, Smednos is expressed in presumptive male and female primordial germ cells. During regeneration, Smednos expression is maintained in the primordial germ cells, and new clusters of Smednos-positive cells appear in the regenerated tissue. Remarkably, during the final stages of development (stage 8 of embryogenesis) and during regeneration of the planarian eye, Smednos is expressed in cells surrounding the differentiating eye cells, possibly corresponding to eye precursor cells. Our results suggest that similar genetic mechanisms might be used to control the differentiation of precursor cells during development and regeneration in planarians.

  19. Effects of 17β-estradiol and bisphenol A on the formation of reproductive organs in planarians.

    PubMed

    Miyashita, Hitoshi; Nakagawa, Haruka; Kobayashi, Kazuya; Hoshi, Motonori; Matsumoto, Midori

    2011-02-01

    Planarians have a remarkable capacity for regeneration after ablation, and they reproduce asexually by fission. However, some planarians can also reproduce and maintain their sexual organs. During the regenerative process, their existing sexual organs degenerate and new ones develop. However, little is known about hormonal regulation during the development of reproductive organs in planarians. In this study, we investigated the effects of 17β-estradiol (a steroid) and bisphenol A (an endocrine disrupter) on the formation of sexual organs in the hermaphroditic planarian Dugesia ryukyuensis. Under control conditions, all worm tissues regenerated into sexual planarians with sexual organs within 4 weeks after ablation. However, in the presence of bisphenol A or 17β-estradiol, although they apparently regenerated into sexual planarians, the yolk glands, which are one of the female sexual organs, failed to regenerate even 7 weeks after ablation. These data suggest that planarians have a steroid hormone system, which plays a key role in the formation and maturation of sexual organs.

  20. Nuclear genomic signals of the 'microturbellarian' roots of platyhelminth evolutionary innovation.

    PubMed

    Laumer, Christopher E; Hejnol, Andreas; Giribet, Gonzalo

    2015-03-12

    Flatworms number among the most diverse invertebrate phyla and represent the most biomedically significant branch of the major bilaterian clade Spiralia, but to date, deep evolutionary relationships within this group have been studied using only a single locus (the rRNA operon), leaving the origins of many key clades unclear. In this study, using a survey of genomes and transcriptomes representing all free-living flatworm orders, we provide resolution of platyhelminth interrelationships based on hundreds of nuclear protein-coding genes, exploring phylogenetic signal through concatenation as well as recently developed consensus approaches. These analyses robustly support a modern hypothesis of flatworm phylogeny, one which emphasizes the primacy of the often-overlooked 'microturbellarian' groups in understanding the major evolutionary transitions within Platyhelminthes: perhaps most notably, we propose a novel scenario for the interrelationships between free-living and vertebrate-parasitic flatworms, providing new opportunities to shed light on the origins and biological consequences of parasitism in these iconic invertebrates.

  1. Characterization of the complete mitochondrial genomes from Polycladida (Platyhelminthes) using next-generation sequencing.

    PubMed

    Aguado, M Teresa; Grande, Cristina; Gerth, Michael; Bleidorn, Christoph; Noreña, Carolina

    2016-01-10

    The complete mitochondrial genomes of three polycladids, the acotylean Hoploplana elisabelloi and the cotyleans Enchiridium sp. and Prosthiostomum siphunculus have been assembled with high coverage from Illumina sequencing data. The mt genomes contain 36 genes including 12 of the 13 protein-coding genes characteristic for metazoan mitochondrial genomes, two ribosomal RNA genes, and 22 transfer RNA genes. Gene annotation, gene order, genetic code, start and stop codons and codon bias have been identified. In comparison with the well investigated parasitic Neodermata, our analysis reveals a great diversity of gene orders within Polycladida and Platyhelminthes in general. By analyzing representative genomes of the main groups of Platyhelminthes we explored the phylogenetic relationships of this group. The phylogenetic analyses strongly supported the monophyly of Polycladida, and based on a small taxon sampling suggest the monophyly of Acotylea and Cotylea.

  2. Biochemical and Molecular Study of Carpobrotus edulis Bioactive Properties and Their Effects on Dugesia sicula (Turbellaria, Tricladida) Regeneration.

    PubMed

    Meddeb, Emna; Charni, Mohamed; Ghazouani, Tesnime; Cozzolino, Autilia; Fratianni, Florinda; Raboudi, Faten; Nazzaro, Filomena; Fattouch, Sami

    2017-01-07

    The traditional medicinal properties of Carpobrotus edulis are well recognized, particularly in Tunisia where it is used for wound healing. Thus, in this study, biochemical and molecular properties of its leaves' bioactive aqueous-acetone extract were investigated. The total phenolic content (TPC) of the extract was estimated to be 184 ± 5 mg/100 g of fresh matter (FM). The qualitative and quantitative polyphenolic profile was determined by ultra performance liquid chromatography with diode array detection (UPLC-DAD) and showed that chlorogenic acid was the major compound (43.7%). The extract exhibits potent antioxidant capacities with IC50 = 56.19 and 58.91 μg/ml, as accessed via the anionic DPPH and cationic ABTS radical scavenging assays, respectively. The extract has high antibacterial properties, especially against the Gram+ Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus cereus strains. To investigate the extract effect on regeneration, the flatworm Dugesia sicula Lepori, 1948, was used as a model. The macroscopic analysis of planarian cultures in ordinary medium containing phenolic extract at non-toxic concentrations illustrated that the extract caused morphological changes. Additionally, the molecular study through the fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) technique showed that C. edulis polyphenols can harm the stem cells' development. These results emphasize the ecotoxicological impact of phenolic rejections in the environment on flatworms' physiology.

  3. Regeneration in Macrostomum lignano (Platyhelminthes): cellular dynamics in the neoblast stem cell system.

    PubMed

    Nimeth, Katharina Theresia; Egger, Bernhard; Rieger, Reinhard; Salvenmoser, Willi; Peter, Roland; Gschwentner, Robert

    2007-03-01

    Neoblasts are potentially totipotent stem cells and the only proliferating cells in adult Platyhelminthes. We have examined the cellular dynamics of neoblasts during the posterior regeneration of Macrostomum lignano. Double-labeling of neoblasts with bromodeoxyuridine and the anti-phospho histone H3 mitosis marker has revealed a complex cellular response in the first 48 h after amputation; this response is different from that known to occur during regeneration in triclad platyhelminths and in starvation/feeding experiments in M. lignano. Mitotic activity is reduced during the first 8 h of regeneration but, at 48 h after amputation, reaches almost twice the value of control animals. The total number of S-phase cells significantly increases after 1 day of regeneration. A subpopulation of fast-cycling neoblasts surprisingly shows the same dynamics during regeneration as those in control animals. Wound healing and regeneration are accompanied by the formation of a distinct blastema. These results present new insights, at the cellular level, into the early regeneration of rhabditophoran Platyhelminthes.

  4. The past and present of planarians--an interview with Vittorio Gremigni. Interview by Alessandra Salvetti and Leonardo Rossi.

    PubMed

    Gremigni, Vittorio

    2012-01-01

    Vittorio Gremigni is a scientific leader in the field of planarian biology with a very long historical perspective. By using electron microscopy, he contributed to the reconstruction of the phylogenesis of free living "Turbellaria", and he pioneered the study of the origin of blastema cells by using chromosomal markers. In this interview, Professor Gremigni describes the steps that moved his career towards the planarian field, the main scientific achievements he obtained and the changes that are taking place in the field. He also discusses recent progress and unanswered questions on planarian neoblasts and regeneration.

  5. Ammonia excretion in the freshwater planarian Schmidtea mediterranea.

    PubMed

    Weihrauch, Dirk; Chan, Ainsely C; Meyer, Heiko; Döring, Carmen; Sourial, Mary; O'Donnell, Michael J

    2012-09-15

    In aquatic invertebrates, metabolic nitrogenous waste is excreted predominately as ammonia. Very little is known, however, of the underlying mechanisms of ammonia excretion, particularly in freshwater species. Our results indicate that in the non-parasitic freshwater planarian Schmidtea mediterranea, ammonia excretion depends on acidification of the apical unstirred layer of the body surface and consequent ammonia trapping. Buffering of the environment to a pH of 7 or higher decreased the excretion rate. Inhibitor experiments suggested further that the excretion mechanism involves the participation of the V-type H(+)-ATPase and carbonic anhydrase and possibly also the Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase and Na(+)/H(+) exchangers. Alkalinization (pH 8.5, 2 days) of the environment led to a 1.9-fold increase in body ammonia levels and to a downregulation of V-ATPase (subunit A) and Rh-protein mRNA. Further, a 2 day exposure to non-lethal ammonia concentrations (1 mmol l(-1)) caused a doubling of body ammonia levels and led to an increase in Rh-protein and Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase (α-subunit) mRNA expression levels. In situ hybridization studies indicated a strong mRNA expression of the Rh-protein in the epidermal epithelium. The ammonia excretion mechanism proposed for S. mediterranea reveals striking similarities to the current model suggested to function in the gills of freshwater fish.

  6. Bioelectrical regulation of cell cycle and the planarian model system.

    PubMed

    Barghouth, Paul G; Thiruvalluvan, Manish; Oviedo, Néstor J

    2015-10-01

    Cell cycle regulation through the manipulation of endogenous membrane potentials offers tremendous opportunities to control cellular processes during tissue repair and cancer formation. However, the molecular mechanisms by which biophysical signals modulate the cell cycle remain underappreciated and poorly understood. Cells in complex organisms generate and maintain a constant voltage gradient across the plasma membrane known as the transmembrane potential. This potential, generated through the combined efforts of various ion transporters, pumps and channels, is known to drive a wide range of cellular processes such as cellular proliferation, migration and tissue regeneration while its deregulation can lead to tumorigenesis. These cellular regulatory events, coordinated by ionic flow, correspond to a new and exciting field termed molecular bioelectricity. We aim to present a brief discussion on the biophysical machinery involving membrane potential and the mechanisms mediating cell cycle progression and cancer transformation. Furthermore, we present the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea as a tractable model system for understanding principles behind molecular bioelectricity at both the cellular and organismal level. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Membrane channels and transporters in cancers.

  7. Bioelectrical Regulation of Cell Cycle and the Planarian Model System

    PubMed Central

    Barghouth, Paul G.; Thiruvalluvan, Manish; Oviedo, Néstor J.

    2015-01-01

    Cell cycle regulation through the manipulation of endogenous membrane potentials offers tremendous opportunities to control cellular processes during tissue repair and cancer formation. However, the molecular mechanisms by which biophysical signals modulate the cell cycle remain underappreciated and poorly understood. Cells in complex organisms generate and maintain a constant voltage gradient across the plasma membrane known as the transmembrane potential. This potential, generated through the combined efforts of various ion transporters, pumps and channels, is known to drive a wide range of cellular processes such as cellular proliferation, migration and tissue regeneration while its deregulation can lead to tumorigenesis. These cellular regulatory events, coordinated by ionic flow, correspond to a new and exciting field termed molecular bioelectricity. We aim to present a brief discussion on the biophysical machinery involving membrane potential and the mechanisms mediating cell cycle progression and cancer transformation. Furthermore, we present the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea as a tractable model system for understanding principles behind molecular bioelectricity at both the cellular and organismal level. PMID:25749155

  8. Cotinine antagonizes the behavioral effects of nicotine exposure in the planarian Girardia tigrina.

    PubMed

    Bach, Daniel J; Tenaglia, Matthew; Baker, Debra L; Deats, Sean; Montgomery, Erica; Pagán, Oné R

    2016-10-06

    Nicotine is one of the most addictive drugs abused by humans. Our laboratory and others have demonstrated that nicotine decreases motility and induces seizure-like behavior in planarians (pSLM, which are vigorous writhing and bending of the body) in a concentration-dependent manner. Nicotine also induces withdrawal-like behaviors in these worms. Cotinine is the major nicotine metabolite in humans, although it is not the final product of nicotine metabolism. Cotinine is mostly inactive in vertebrate nervous systems and is currently being explored as a molecule which possess most of nicotine's beneficial effects and few of its undesirable ones. It is not known whether cotinine is a product of nicotine metabolism in planarians. We found that cotinine by itself does not seem to elicit any behavioral effects in planarians up to a concentration of 1mM. We also show that cotinine antagonizes the aforementioned nicotine-induced motility decrease and also decreases the expression of nicotine-induced pSLMs in a concentration-dependent manner. Also cotinine prevents the manifestation of some of the withdrawal-like behaviors induced by nicotine in our experimental organism. Thus, we obtained evidence supporting that cotinine antagonizes nicotine in this planarian species. Possible explanations include competitive binding of both compounds at overlapping binding sites, at different nicotinic receptor subtypes, or maybe allosteric interactions.

  9. Reversal of cocaine-induced planarian behavior by parthenolide and related sesquiterpene lactones.

    PubMed

    Pagán, Oné R; Rowlands, Amanda L; Azam, Mahrukh; Urban, Kimberly R; Bidja, Apurva H; Roy, Danielle M; Feeney, Ryan B; Afshari, Lilly K

    2008-04-01

    Here we report the prevention and reversal of cocaine-induced behaviors in planarian worms by parthenolide and two related cyclic sesquiterpene lactones (SL), costunolide and santonin. Using established protocols, we studied two cocaine-induced behavioral effects in planaria; the induction of motility decrease and the induction of C-like hyperkinesia. Cocaine, parthenolide, costunolide, santonin, and a lactone-less cyclic sesquiterpene, beta-eudesmol, decreased planarian motility in a concentration-dependent manner. Only cocaine induced C-like hyperkinesia. At concentrations that did not show any motility decrease, parthenolide, costunolide and santonin, but not beta-eudesmol, significantly reduced the cocaine-induced motility decrease and C-like hyperkinesia, in a concentration-dependent manner. Furthermore, parthenolide, costunolide and santonin were able to rescue planaria from C-like hyperkinesia, after the worms were exposed to cocaine. Conversely, cocaine at a concentration that did not show any measurable effects (10 microM), was able to alleviate the SL-, but not the beta-eudesmol-induced motility decrease. Liquid Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry experiments demonstrated that cocaine does not interact directly with any of the cyclic sesquiterpenoids, which suggests specific biochemical targets for these compounds in planarians. Our data suggests a common binding site for cocaine and the sesquiterpene lactones in planarians.

  10. Regeneration in planarians and other worms: New findings, new tools, and new perspectives.

    PubMed

    Saló, Emili; Baguñà, Jaume

    2002-05-01

    Molecular biology, recombinant DNA techniques, and new methods of cell lineage have reignited the interest of planarians and other worms (mainly annelids and nemerteans) as invertebrate model systems of regeneration. Here, the mean results produced in the last five years are reviewed, an update of the genes and molecules involved in planarian regeneration is provided, and a new morphallactic-epimorphic model of pattern formation is suggested. Moreover, and most importantly, we highlight the new strides brought upon by genomic/proteomic analyses, RNA interference (RNAi) to inactivate gene function, and Bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) cell labelling. The raising hope to obtain transformed neoblasts and transgenic planarians is also stressed. Altogether, such approaches will eventually lead to solve the long-standing open questions on regeneration which still baffles us. Finally, we warn against overlooking the evident links between regeneration processes and those controlling the daily wear and tear of tissues and cells. Both processes act, at least in planarians, upon a unique stem-cell endowed with an unrivaled developmental potential in the animal kingdom-the neoblast. This cell could be considered the forebear and a model system for stem-cell analysis.

  11. Memory and obesity affect the population dynamics of asexual freshwater planarians

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dunkel, Jörn; Talbot, Jared; Schötz, Eva-Maria

    2011-04-01

    Asexual reproduction in multicellular organisms is a complex biophysical process that is not yet well understood quantitatively. Here, we report a detailed population study for the asexual freshwater planarian Schmidtea mediterranea, which can reproduce via transverse fission due to a large stem cell contingent. Our long-term observations of isolated non-interacting planarian populations reveal that the characteristic fission waiting time distributions for head and tail fragments differ significantly from each other. The stochastic fission dynamics of tail fragments exhibits non-negligible memory effects, implying that an accurate mathematical description of future data should be based on non-Markovian tree models. By comparing the effective growth of non-interacting planarian populations with those of self-interacting populations, we are able to quantify the influence of interactions between flatworms and physical conditions on the population growth. A surprising result is the non-monotonic relationship between effective population growth rate and nutrient supply: planarians exhibit a tendency to become 'obese' if the feeding frequency exceeds a critical level, resulting in a decreased reproduction activity. This suggests that these flatworms, which possess many genes homologous to those of humans, could become a new model system for studying dietary effects on reproduction and regeneration in multicellular organisms.

  12. Unusually Large Number of Mutations in Asexually Reproducing Clonal Planarian Dugesia japonica.

    PubMed

    Nishimura, Osamu; Hosoda, Kazutaka; Kawaguchi, Eri; Yazawa, Shigenobu; Hayashi, Tetsutaro; Inoue, Takeshi; Umesono, Yoshihiko; Agata, Kiyokazu

    2015-01-01

    We established a laboratory clonal strain of freshwater planarian (Dugesia japonica) that was derived from a single individual and that continued to undergo autotomous asexual reproduction for more than 20 years, and we performed large-scale genome sequencing and transcriptome analysis on it. Despite the fact that a completely clonal strain of the planarian was used, an unusually large number of mutations were detected. To enable quantitative genetic analysis of such a unique organism, we developed a new model called the Reference Gene Model, and used it to conduct large-scale transcriptome analysis. The results revealed large numbers of mutations not only outside but also inside gene-coding regions. Non-synonymous SNPs were detected in 74% of the genes for which valid ORFs were predicted. Interestingly, the high-mutation genes, such as metabolism- and defense-related genes, were correlated with genes that were previously identified as diverse genes among different planarian species. Although a large number of amino acid substitutions were apparently accumulated during asexual reproduction over this long period of time, the planarian maintained normal body-shape, behaviors, and physiological functions. The results of the present study reveal a unique aspect of asexual reproduction.

  13. Antagonistic Self-Organizing Patterning Systems Control Maintenance and Regeneration of the Anteroposterior Axis in Planarians.

    PubMed

    Stückemann, Tom; Cleland, James Patrick; Werner, Steffen; Thi-Kim Vu, Hanh; Bayersdorf, Robert; Liu, Shang-Yun; Friedrich, Benjamin; Jülicher, Frank; Rink, Jochen Christian

    2017-02-06

    Planarian flatworms maintain their body plan in the face of constant internal turnover and can regenerate from arbitrary tissue fragments. Both phenomena require self-maintaining and self-organizing patterning mechanisms, the molecular mechanisms of which remain poorly understood. We show that a morphogenic gradient of canonical Wnt signaling patterns gene expression along the planarian anteroposterior (A/P) axis. Our results demonstrate that gradient formation likely occurs autonomously in the tail and that an autoregulatory module of Wnt-mediated Wnt expression both shapes the gradient at steady state and governs its re-establishment during regeneration. Functional antagonism between the tail Wnt gradient and an unknown head patterning system further determines the spatial proportions of the planarian A/P axis and mediates mutually exclusive molecular fate choices during regeneration. Overall, our results suggest that the planarian A/P axis is patterned by self-organizing patterning systems deployed from either end that are functionally coupled by mutual antagonism.

  14. Planarians require an intact brain to behaviorally react to cocaine, but not to react to nicotine.

    PubMed

    Pagán, O R; Deats, S; Baker, D; Montgomery, E; Wilk, G; Tenaglia, M; Semon, J

    2013-08-29

    Planarians possess a rudimentary brain with many features in common with vertebrate brains. They also display a remarkable capacity for tissue regeneration including the complete regeneration of the nervous system. Using the induction of planarian seizure-like movements (pSLMs) as a behavioral endpoint, we demonstrate that an intact nervous system is necessary for this organism to react to cocaine exposure, but not necessary to react to nicotine administration. Decapitated planarians (Girardia tigrina) display pSLMs indistinguishable from intact worms when exposed to nicotine, but cocaine-induced pSLMs are reduced by about 95% upon decapitation. Decapitated worms recover their normal sensitivity to cocaine within 5 days after head amputation. In worms where half of the brain was removed or partially dissected, the expression of cocaine-induced pSLMs was reduced by approximately 75%. Similar amputations at the level of the tail did not show a significant decrease to cocaine exposure. To the best of our knowledge, our work is the first report that explores how regenerating planarians react to the exposure of cocaine.

  15. Essential role for the planarian intestinal GATA transcription factor in stem cells and regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Flores, Natasha M.; Oviedo, Néstor J.; Sage, Julien

    2016-01-01

    The cellular turnover of adult tissues and injury-induced repair proceed through an exquisite integration of proliferation, differentiation, and survival signals that involve stem/progenitor cell populations, their progeny, and differentiated tissues. GATA factors are DNA binding proteins that control stem cells and the development of tissues by activating or repressing transcription. Here we examined the role of GATA transcription factors in Schmidtea mediterranea, a freshwater planarian that provides an excellent model to investigate gene function in adult stem cells, regeneration, and differentiation. Smed-gata4/5/6, the homolog of the three mammalian GATA-4,-5,-6 factors is expressed at high levels in differentiated gut cells but also at lower levels in neoblast populations, the planarian stem cells. Smed-gata4/5/6 knock-down results in broad differentiation defects, especially in response to injury. These defects are not restricted to the intestinal lineage. In particular, at late time points during the response to injury, loss of Smed-gata4/5/6 leads to decreased neoblast proliferation and to gene expression changes in several neoblast subpopulations. Thus, Smed-gata4/5/6 plays a key evolutionary conserved role in intestinal differentiation in planarians. These data further support a model in which defects in the intestinal lineage can indirectly affect other differentiation pathways in planarians. PMID:27542689

  16. Forkhead containing transcription factor Albino controls tetrapyrrole-based body pigmentation in planarian

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Chen; Han, Xiao-Shuai; Li, Fang-Fang; Huang, Shuang; Qin, Yong-Wen; Zhao, Xian-Xian; Jing, Qing

    2016-01-01

    Pigmentation processes occur from invertebrates to mammals. Owing to the complexity of the pigmentary system, in vivo animal models for pigmentation study are limited. Planarians are capable of regenerating any missing part including the dark-brown pigments, providing a promising model for pigmentation study. However, the molecular mechanism of planarian body pigmentation is poorly understood. We found in an RNA interference screen that a forkhead containing transcription factor, Albino, was required for pigmentation without affecting survival or other regeneration processes. In addition, the body color recovered after termination of Albino double stranded RNA feeding owing to the robust stem cell system. Further expression analysis revealed a spatial and temporal correlation between Albino and pigmentation process. Gene expression arrays revealed that the expression of three tetrapyrrole biosynthesis enzymes, ALAD, ALAS and PBGD, was impaired upon Albino RNA interference. RNA interference of PBGD led to a similar albinism phenotype caused by Albino RNA interference. Moreover, PBGD was specifically expressed in pigment cells and can serve as a pigment cell molecular marker. Our results revealed that Albino controls planarian body color pigmentation dominantly via regulating tetrapyrrole biogenesis. These results identified Albino as the key regulator of the tetrapyrrole-based planarian body pigmentation, suggesting a role of Albino during stem cell-pigment cell fate decision and provided new insights into porphyria pathogenesis. PMID:27551436

  17. Essential role for the planarian intestinal GATA transcription factor in stem cells and regeneration.

    PubMed

    Flores, Natasha M; Oviedo, Néstor J; Sage, Julien

    2016-10-01

    The cellular turnover of adult tissues and injury-induced repair proceed through an exquisite integration of proliferation, differentiation, and survival signals that involve stem/progenitor cell populations, their progeny, and differentiated tissues. GATA factors are DNA binding proteins that control stem cells and the development of tissues by activating or repressing transcription. Here we examined the role of GATA transcription factors in Schmidtea mediterranea, a freshwater planarian that provides an excellent model to investigate gene function in adult stem cells, regeneration, and differentiation. Smed-gata4/5/6, the homolog of the three mammalian GATA-4,-5,-6 factors is expressed at high levels in differentiated gut cells but also at lower levels in neoblast populations, the planarian stem cells. Smed-gata4/5/6 knock-down results in broad differentiation defects, especially in response to injury. These defects are not restricted to the intestinal lineage. In particular, at late time points during the response to injury, loss of Smed-gata4/5/6 leads to decreased neoblast proliferation and to gene expression changes in several neoblast subpopulations. Thus, Smed-gata4/5/6 plays a key evolutionary conserved role in intestinal differentiation in planarians. These data further support a model in which defects in the intestinal lineage can indirectly affect other differentiation pathways in planarians.

  18. Expression of secreted Wnt pathway components reveals unexpected complexity of the planarian amputation response.

    PubMed

    Gurley, Kyle A; Elliott, Sarah A; Simakov, Oleg; Schmidt, Heiko A; Holstein, Thomas W; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro

    2010-11-01

    Regeneration is widespread throughout the animal kingdom, but our molecular understanding of this process in adult animals remains poorly understood. Wnt/β-catenin signaling plays crucial roles throughout animal life from early development to adulthood. In intact and regenerating planarians, the regulation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling functions to maintain and specify anterior/posterior (A/P) identity. Here, we explore the expression kinetics and RNAi phenotypes for secreted members of the Wnt signaling pathway in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. Smed-wnt and sFRP expression during regeneration is surprisingly dynamic and reveals fundamental aspects of planarian biology that have been previously unappreciated. We show that after amputation, a wounding response precedes rapid re-organization of the A/P axis. Furthermore, cells throughout the body plan can mount this response and reassess their new A/P location in the complete absence of stem cells. While initial stages of the amputation response are stem cell independent, tissue remodeling and the integration of a new A/P address with anatomy are stem cell dependent. We also show that WNT5 functions in a reciprocal manner with SLIT to pattern the planarian mediolateral axis, while WNT11-2 patterns the posterior midline. Moreover, we perform an extensive phylogenetic analysis on the Smed-wnt genes using a method that combines and integrates both sequence and structural alignments, enabling us to place all nine genes into Wnt subfamilies for the first time.

  19. Infertility in the hyperplasic ovary of freshwater planarians: the role of programmed cell death.

    PubMed

    Harrath, Abdel Halim; Semlali, Abdelhabib; Mansour, Lamjed; Ahmed, Mukhtar; Sirotkin, Alexander V; Al Omar, Suliman Y; Arfah, Maha; Al Anazi, Mohamed S; Alhazza, Ibrahim M; Nyengaard, Jens R; Alwasel, Saleh

    2014-11-01

    Ex-fissiparous planarians produce infertile cocoons or, in very rare cases, cocoons with very low fertility. Here, we describe the features of programmed cell death (PCD) occurring in the hyperplasic ovary of the ex-fissiparous freshwater planarian Dugesia arabica that may explain this infertility. Based on TEM results, we demonstrate a novel extensive co-clustering of cytoplasmic organelles, such as lysosomes and microtubules, and their fusion with autophagosomes during the early stage of oocyte cell death occurring through an autophagic pattern. During a later stage of cell death, the generation of apoptotic vesicles in the cytoplasm can be observed. The immunohistochemical labeling supports the ultrastructural results because it has been shown that the proapoptotic protein bax was more highly expressed in the hyperplasic ovary than in the normal one, whereas the anti-apoptotic protein bcl2 was slightly more highly expressed in the normal ovary compared to the hyperplasic one. TUNEL analysis of the hyperplasic ovary confirmed that the nuclei of the majority of differentiating oocytes were TUNEL-positive, whereas the nuclei of oogonia and young oocytes were TUNEL-negative; in the normal ovary, oocytes are TUNEL-negative. Considering all of these data, we suggest that the cell death mechanism of differentiating oocytes in the hyperplasic ovary of freshwater planarians is one of the most important factors that cause ex-fissiparous planarian infertility. We propose that autophagy precedes apoptosis during oogenesis, whereas apoptotic features can be observed later.

  20. Unusually Large Number of Mutations in Asexually Reproducing Clonal Planarian Dugesia japonica

    PubMed Central

    Nishimura, Osamu; Hosoda, Kazutaka; Kawaguchi, Eri; Yazawa, Shigenobu; Hayashi, Tetsutaro; Inoue, Takeshi; Umesono, Yoshihiko; Agata, Kiyokazu

    2015-01-01

    We established a laboratory clonal strain of freshwater planarian (Dugesia japonica) that was derived from a single individual and that continued to undergo autotomous asexual reproduction for more than 20 years, and we performed large-scale genome sequencing and transcriptome analysis on it. Despite the fact that a completely clonal strain of the planarian was used, an unusually large number of mutations were detected. To enable quantitative genetic analysis of such a unique organism, we developed a new model called the Reference Gene Model, and used it to conduct large-scale transcriptome analysis. The results revealed large numbers of mutations not only outside but also inside gene-coding regions. Non-synonymous SNPs were detected in 74% of the genes for which valid ORFs were predicted. Interestingly, the high-mutation genes, such as metabolism- and defense-related genes, were correlated with genes that were previously identified as diverse genes among different planarian species. Although a large number of amino acid substitutions were apparently accumulated during asexual reproduction over this long period of time, the planarian maintained normal body-shape, behaviors, and physiological functions. The results of the present study reveal a unique aspect of asexual reproduction. PMID:26588467

  1. Memory and obesity affect the population dynamics of asexual freshwater planarians.

    PubMed

    Dunkel, Jörn; Talbot, Jared; Schötz, Eva-Maria

    2011-04-01

    Asexual reproduction in multicellular organisms is a complex biophysical process that is not yet well understood quantitatively. Here, we report a detailed population study for the asexual freshwater planarian Schmidtea mediterranea, which can reproduce via transverse fission due to a large stem cell contingent. Our long-term observations of isolated non-interacting planarian populations reveal that the characteristic fission waiting time distributions for head and tail fragments differ significantly from each other. The stochastic fission dynamics of tail fragments exhibits non-negligible memory effects, implying that an accurate mathematical description of future data should be based on non-Markovian tree models. By comparing the effective growth of non-interacting planarian populations with those of self-interacting populations, we are able to quantify the influence of interactions between flatworms and physical conditions on the population growth. A surprising result is the non-monotonic relationship between effective population growth rate and nutrient supply: planarians exhibit a tendency to become 'obese' if the feeding frequency exceeds a critical level, resulting in a decreased reproduction activity. This suggests that these flatworms, which possess many genes homologous to those of humans, could become a new model system for studying dietary effects on reproduction and regeneration in multicellular organisms.

  2. Stem cell protection mechanisms in planarians: the role of some heat shock genes.

    PubMed

    Isolani, Maria-Emilia; Conte, Maria; Deri, Paolo; Batistoni, Renata

    2012-01-01

    Planarians contain a large population of stem cells, named neoblasts, and use these for continuous turnover of all cell types. In addition, thanks to the amazing flexibility of these cells, planarians respond well to the effects of stressful situations, for example activating regeneration after trauma. How neoblasts respond to stress and support continuous proliferation, maintaining long-term stability, is still an open question. Heat shock proteins (HSPs) are a complex protein family with key roles in maintaining protein homeostasis, as well as in apoptosis and growth-related processes. We recently characterized some planarian homologs of hsp genes that are highly expressed in mammalian stem cells, and observed that some of them are critical for neoblast survival/maintenance. The results of these studies support the notion that some HSPs play crucial roles in the modulation of pathways regulating stem cell activity, regeneration and tissue repair. In this review we compare the evidence available for planarian hsp genes and focus on questions emerging from these results.

  3. Forkhead containing transcription factor Albino controls tetrapyrrole-based body pigmentation in planarian.

    PubMed

    Wang, Chen; Han, Xiao-Shuai; Li, Fang-Fang; Huang, Shuang; Qin, Yong-Wen; Zhao, Xian-Xian; Jing, Qing

    2016-01-01

    Pigmentation processes occur from invertebrates to mammals. Owing to the complexity of the pigmentary system, in vivo animal models for pigmentation study are limited. Planarians are capable of regenerating any missing part including the dark-brown pigments, providing a promising model for pigmentation study. However, the molecular mechanism of planarian body pigmentation is poorly understood. We found in an RNA interference screen that a forkhead containing transcription factor, Albino, was required for pigmentation without affecting survival or other regeneration processes. In addition, the body color recovered after termination of Albino double stranded RNA feeding owing to the robust stem cell system. Further expression analysis revealed a spatial and temporal correlation between Albino and pigmentation process. Gene expression arrays revealed that the expression of three tetrapyrrole biosynthesis enzymes, ALAD, ALAS and PBGD, was impaired upon Albino RNA interference. RNA interference of PBGD led to a similar albinism phenotype caused by Albino RNA interference. Moreover, PBGD was specifically expressed in pigment cells and can serve as a pigment cell molecular marker. Our results revealed that Albino controls planarian body color pigmentation dominantly via regulating tetrapyrrole biogenesis. These results identified Albino as the key regulator of the tetrapyrrole-based planarian body pigmentation, suggesting a role of Albino during stem cell-pigment cell fate decision and provided new insights into porphyria pathogenesis.

  4. Group planarian sudden mortality: Is the threshold around global geomagnetic activity ≥K6?

    PubMed

    Murugan, Nirosha J; Karbowski, Lukasz M; Mekers, William Ft; Persinger, Michael A

    2015-01-01

    Sudden deaths in groups of animals have been observed by field and laboratory biologists. We have measured mortalities in large group-housed planarian during the infrequent periods of very intense geomagnetic activity. In 13 separate episodes over the last 5 y we have observed the sudden death in our laboratory of hundreds of planarian if their density was about 1 worm per cc and the global geomagnetic activity was K≥6 the day before or the day of the observation of the mortality. Such mortality never occurred in other conditions or days. Both estimates of the "magnetic moment" of a planarian in magnetic fields above this threshold of sustained magnetic flux density as well as the magnetic energy within the planarian volume predict values that could affect phenomenon associated with the total numbers of pH-dependent charges within each worm. These conditions could affect the Levin-Burr bioelectrical signals and networks that affect patterning information and sustainability in whole living systems. The establishment of a central reservoir for the report of these transient events might allow Life Scientists to more fully appreciate the impact of these pervasive global stimuli upon dense groups of animals.

  5. Insights into the origin and distribution of biodiversity in the Brazilian Atlantic forest hot spot: a statistical phylogeographic study using a low-dispersal organism.

    PubMed

    Álvarez-Presas, M; Sánchez-Gracia, A; Carbayo, F; Rozas, J; Riutort, M

    2014-06-01

    The relative importance of the processes that generate and maintain biodiversity is a major and controversial topic in evolutionary biology with large implications for conservation management. The Atlantic Forest of Brazil, one of the world's richest biodiversity hot spots, is severely damaged by human activities. To formulate an efficient conservation policy, a good understanding of spatial and temporal biodiversity patterns and their underlying evolutionary mechanisms is required. With this aim, we performed a comprehensive phylogeographic study using a low-dispersal organism, the land planarian species Cephaloflexa bergi (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida). Analysing multi-locus DNA sequence variation under the Approximate Bayesian Computation framework, we evaluated two scenarios proposed to explain the diversity of Southern Atlantic Forest (SAF) region. We found that most sampled localities harbour high levels of genetic diversity, with lineages sharing common ancestors that predate the Pleistocene. Remarkably, we detected the molecular hallmark of the isolation-by-distance effect and little evidence of a recent colonization of SAF localities; nevertheless, some populations might result from very recent secondary contacts. We conclude that extant SAF biodiversity originated and has been shaped by complex interactions between ancient geological events and more recent evolutionary processes, whereas Pleistocene climate changes had a minor influence in generating present-day diversity. We also demonstrate that land planarians are an advantageous biological model for making phylogeographic and, particularly, fine-scale evolutionary inferences, and propose appropriate conservation policies.

  6. Insights into the origin and distribution of biodiversity in the Brazilian Atlantic forest hot spot: a statistical phylogeographic study using a low-dispersal organism

    PubMed Central

    Álvarez-Presas, M; Sánchez-Gracia, A; Carbayo, F; Rozas, J; Riutort, M

    2014-01-01

    The relative importance of the processes that generate and maintain biodiversity is a major and controversial topic in evolutionary biology with large implications for conservation management. The Atlantic Forest of Brazil, one of the world's richest biodiversity hot spots, is severely damaged by human activities. To formulate an efficient conservation policy, a good understanding of spatial and temporal biodiversity patterns and their underlying evolutionary mechanisms is required. With this aim, we performed a comprehensive phylogeographic study using a low-dispersal organism, the land planarian species Cephaloflexa bergi (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida). Analysing multi-locus DNA sequence variation under the Approximate Bayesian Computation framework, we evaluated two scenarios proposed to explain the diversity of Southern Atlantic Forest (SAF) region. We found that most sampled localities harbour high levels of genetic diversity, with lineages sharing common ancestors that predate the Pleistocene. Remarkably, we detected the molecular hallmark of the isolation-by-distance effect and little evidence of a recent colonization of SAF localities; nevertheless, some populations might result from very recent secondary contacts. We conclude that extant SAF biodiversity originated and has been shaped by complex interactions between ancient geological events and more recent evolutionary processes, whereas Pleistocene climate changes had a minor influence in generating present-day diversity. We also demonstrate that land planarians are an advantageous biological model for making phylogeographic and, particularly, fine-scale evolutionary inferences, and propose appropriate conservation policies. PMID:24549112

  7. Epigenetic regulation of planarian stem cells by the SET1/MLL family of histone methyltransferases.

    PubMed

    Hubert, Amy; Henderson, Jordana M; Ross, Kelly G; Cowles, Martis W; Torres, Jessica; Zayas, Ricardo M

    2013-01-01

    Chromatin regulation is a fundamental mechanism underlying stem cell pluripotency, differentiation, and the establishment of cell type-specific gene expression profiles. To examine the role of chromatin regulation in stem cells in vivo, we study regeneration in the freshwater planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. These animals possess a high concentration of pluripotent stem cells, which are capable of restoring any damaged or lost tissues after injury or amputation. Here, we identify the S. mediterranea homologs of the SET1/MLL family of histone methyltransferases and COMPASS and COMPASS-like complex proteins and investigate their role in stem cell function during regeneration. We identified six S. mediterranea homologs of the SET1/MLL family (set1, mll1/2, trr-1, trr-2, mll5-1 and mll5-2), characterized their patterns of expression in the animal, and examined their function by RNAi. All members of this family are expressed in the stem cell population and differentiated tissues. We show that set1, mll1/2, trr-1, and mll5-2 are required for regeneration and that set1, trr-1 and mll5-2 play roles in the regulation of mitosis. Most notably, knockdown of the planarian set1 homolog leads to stem cell depletion. A subset of planarian homologs of COMPASS and COMPASS-like complex proteins are also expressed in stem cells and implicated in regeneration, but the knockdown phenotypes suggest that some complex members also function in other aspects of planarian biology. This work characterizes the function of the SET1/MLL family in the context of planarian regeneration and provides insight into the role of these enzymes in adult stem cell regulation in vivo.

  8. Protein expression profiling in head fragments during planarian regeneration after amputation.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xiaoguang; Xu, Cunshuan

    2015-04-01

    Following amputation, a planarian tail fragment can regrow into a complete organism including a well-organized brain within about 2-3 weeks, thus restoring the structure and function to presurgical levels. Despite the enormous potential of these animals for regenerative medicine, our understanding of the exact mechanism of planarian regeneration is incomplete. To better understand the molecular nature of planarian head regeneration, we applied two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE)/matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF)/time-of-flight mass spectrometry (TOF MS) technique to analyze the dynamic proteomic expression profiles over the course of 6 to 168 h post-decapitation. This approach identified a total of 141 differentially expressed proteins, 47 of which exhibited exceptionally high fold changes (≥3-fold change). Of these, Rx protein, an important regulator of head and brain development, was considered to be closely related to planarian head regeneration because of its exceptional high expression almost throughout the time course of regeneration process. Functional annotation analysis classified the 141 proteins into eight categories: (1) signaling, (2) Ca(2+) binding and translocation, (3) transcription and translation, (4) cytoskeleton, (5) metabolism, (6) cell protection, (7) tissue differentiation, and (8) cell cycle. Signaling pathway analysis indicated that Wnt1/Ca(2+) signaling pathway was activated during head regeneration. Integrating the analyses of proteome expression profiling, functional annotation, and signaling pathway, amputation-induced head reformation requires some mechanisms to promote cell proliferation and differentiation, including differential regulation of proapoptotic and antiapoptotic proteins, and the regulation of proliferation and differentiation-related proteins. Importantly, Wnt1/Ca(2+) signaling pathway upregulates Rx expression, finally facilitating the differentiation of neoblasts into various

  9. Epigenetic regulation of planarian stem cells by the SET1/MLL family of histone methyltransferases

    PubMed Central

    Hubert, Amy; Henderson, Jordana M.; Ross, Kelly G.; Cowles, Martis W.; Torres, Jessica; Zayas, Ricardo M.

    2013-01-01

    Chromatin regulation is a fundamental mechanism underlying stem cell pluripotency, differentiation, and the establishment of cell type-specific gene expression profiles. To examine the role of chromatin regulation in stem cells in vivo, we study regeneration in the freshwater planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. These animals possess a high concentration of pluripotent stem cells, which are capable of restoring any damaged or lost tissues after injury or amputation. Here, we identify the S. mediterranea homologs of the SET1/MLL family of histone methyltransferases and COMPASS and COMPASS-like complex proteins and investigate their role in stem cell function during regeneration. We identified six S. mediterranea homologs of the SET1/MLL family (set1, mll1/2, trr-1, trr-2, mll5–1 and mll5–2), characterized their patterns of expression in the animal, and examined their function by RNAi. All members of this family are expressed in the stem cell population and differentiated tissues. We show that set1, mll1/2, trr-1, and mll5–2 are required for regeneration and that set1, trr-1 and mll5–2 play roles in the regulation of mitosis. Most notably, knockdown of the planarian set1 homolog leads to stem cell depletion. A subset of planarian homologs of COMPASS and COMPASS-like complex proteins are also expressed in stem cells and implicated in regeneration, but the knockdown phenotypes suggest that some complex members also function in other aspects of planarian biology. This work characterizes the function of the SET1/MLL family in the context of planarian regeneration and provides insight into the role of these enzymes in adult stem cell regulation in vivo. PMID:23235145

  10. Inhibitory Smads and bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) modulate anterior photoreceptor cell number during planarian eye regeneration.

    PubMed

    González-Sastre, Alejandro; Molina, Ma Dolores; Saló, Emili

    2012-01-01

    Planarians represent an excellent model to study the processes of body axis and organ re-specification during regeneration. Previous studies have revealed a conserved role for the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) pathway and its intracellular mediators Smad1/5/8 and Smad4 in planarian dorsoventral (DV) axis re-establishment. In an attempt to gain further insight into the role of this signalling pathway in planarians, we have isolated and functionally characte-rized the inhibitory Smads (I-Smads) in Schmidtea mediterranea. Two I-Smad homologues have been identified: Smed-smad6/7-1 and Smed-smad6/7-2. Expression of smad6/7-1 was detected in the parenchyma, while smad6/7-2 was found to be ex-pressed in the central nervous system and the eyes. Neither single smad6/7-1 and smad6/7-2 nor double smad6/7-1,-2 silencing gave rise to any apparent disruption of the DV axis. However, both regenerating and intact smad6/7-2 (RNAi) planarians showed defects in eye morphogenesis and displayed small, rounded eyes that lacked the anterior subpopulation of photoreceptor cells. The number of pigment cells was also reduced in these animals at later stages of regeneration. In contrast, after low doses of Smed-bmp(RNAi), planarians regenerated larger eyes in which the anterior subpopulation of photoreceptor cells was expanded. Our results suggest that Smed-smad6/7-2 and Smed-bmp control the re-specification and maintenance of anterior photoreceptor cell number in S. mediterranea.

  11. Expression analysis of Djsix-1 gene during regeneration of planarian eyespots.

    PubMed

    Dong, Zimei; Yuwen, Yanqing; Wang, Qinghua; Chen, Guangwen; Liu, Dezeng

    2011-08-01

    Djsix-1 gene is one of the important eyespots-regulating genes in planarians. In this experiment, the expression of Djsix-1 and morphogenesis of eyespots during planarians eyespots regeneration were investigated. The planarians were subjected to two rounds of transverse amputation. Nineteen time points in the first round and ten ones in the second one during the regeneration of the planarians post-auricle fragments were selected. At different time points, the quantitative expression of Djsix-1 and morphogenesis of eyespots during eyespots regeneration were examined by real-time RT-PCR and paraffin sections. Results showed that the optimal growth temperature for planarians regeneration was 22°C in dark. At this temperature, Djsix-1 gene was first up-regulated at the 30th min after the first round of transverse amputation and its expression level increased at the 24-h time point. The expression level reached peak on day 4 and then began to decrease thereafter. From day 6 to day 9, the expression level was maintained in a relatively stable level. In the second round, Djsix-1 expression reached the peak on the 2nd day after amputation, and then began to decrease and maintained in a relatively stable level from the 4th to the 9th day. Morphological and histological examinations showed that eyespots were observed on the 4th day after amputation in the first round and on the 3rd day in the second round. These results indicated that corresponding relationship existed between eyespots morphogenesis and Djsix-1 quantitative expression. It was also suggested that Djsix-1 promoted neoblasts proliferation at the early stage of eyespots regeneration and regulated morphogenesis of eyespots at the later stage.

  12. Withdrawal-like behavior in planarians is dependent on drug exposure duration.

    PubMed

    Sacavage, Steve; Patel, Hiren; Zielinski, Mike; Acker, Jeneane; Phillips, Austin G; Raffa, Robert B; Rawls, Scott M

    2008-07-04

    Planarians display a concentration-related reduction in locomotor activity following their spontaneous withdrawal from opioids, cannabinoids, stimulants and benzodiazepines. This suggests that planarians display a withdrawal-like behavior that can be quantified as a reduction in locomotor activity. Because withdrawal-like behavior in previous studies has been quantified only following the cessation of a 60-min drug exposure, it is unclear whether the withdrawal response varies with drug exposure duration. Therefore, the goal of this study is to determine if the duration of drug exposure (0, 5, 15, 30, 45, 60min and 24h) to three different drugs - methamphetamine, cocaine and caffeine - affects the magnitude of withdrawal-like behavior (i.e., reduced locomotor activity) in planarians. Experiments revealed that methamphetamine (10microM) produced significant withdrawal-like behavior regardless of the exposure time (P<0.05). An exposure time of only 5min resulted in a significant reduction in locomotor activity. The peak effect, although occurring following a 24-h exposure, was only slightly greater than that caused by a 30-min exposure. For cocaine (10microM), a longer exposure time (15min) was required for the manifestation of significant withdrawal-like behavior. The peak cocaine effect was observed following a 24-h exposure. Caffeine (10microM) did not produce significant changes in locomotor activity during withdrawal or alter locomotor activity during acute exposure. The present results suggest that the magnitude of withdrawal-like behavior in planarians is dependent on both the duration and type of drug exposure, and that planarians do not display withdrawal to caffeine.

  13. Survival, mobility, and membrane-bound enzyme activities of freshwater planarian, Dugesia japonica, exposed to synthetic and natural surfactants.

    PubMed

    Li, Mei-Hui

    2012-04-01

    Surfactants are a major class of emerging pollutants widely used in large quantities in everyday life and commonly found in surface waters worldwide. Freshwater planarian was selected to examine the effects of different surfactants by measuring mortality, mobility, and membrane-bound enzyme activities. Among the 10 surfactants tested, the acute toxicities of betaine and polyethylene glycol (PEG-200) to planarians were relatively low, with a median lethal concentration (LC50) greater than 10,000 mg/L. The toxicity to planarians of the other eight surfactants based on 48-h LC50 could be arranged in the descending order of cetylpyridinum chloride (CPC) > 4-tert-octylphenol (4-tert-OP) > ammonium lauryl sulfate > benzalkonium chloride > saponin > sodium lauroylsarcosinate > dioctyl sulfosuccinate > dodecyl trimethyl ammonium bromide (DTAB). Both CPC and 4-tert-OP were very toxic to planarians, with 48-h LC50 values <1 mg/L. The median effective concentrations (EC50s) of planarian mobility were in the 0.1 to 50 mg/L range and were in the same range as the 24-h LC50 of planarians exposed to different surfactants, except for DTAB. In addition, significant inhibition of cholinesterase activity activities was found in planarians exposed to 4-tert-OP at 2.5 and 5 mg/L and to saponin at 10 mg/L after 2-h treatments. This result suggests that planarian mobility responses can be used as an alternative indicator for acute toxicity of surfactants after a very short exposure period.

  14. Development of in vivo biotransformation enzyme assays for ecotoxicity screening: In vivo measurement of phases I and II enzyme activities in freshwater planarians.

    PubMed

    Li, Mei-Hui

    2016-08-01

    The development of a high-throughput tool is required for screening of environmental pollutants and assessing their impacts on aquatic animals. Freshwater planarians can be used in rapid and sensitive toxicity bioassays. Planarians are known for their remarkable regeneration ability but much less known for their metabolic and xenobiotic biotransformation abilities. In this study, the activities of different phase I and II enzymes were determined in vivo by directly measuring fluorescent enzyme substrate disappearance or fluorescent enzyme metabolite production in planarian culture media. For phase I enzyme activity, O-deethylation activities with alkoxyresorufin could not be detected in planarian culture media. By contrast, O-deethylation activities with alkoxycoumarin were detected in planarian culture media. Increases in 7-ethoxycoumarin O-deethylase (ECOD) activities was only observed in planarians exposed to 1μM, but not 10μM, β-naphthoflavone for 24h. ECOD activity was inhibited in planarians exposed to 10 and 100μM rifampicin or carbamazepine for 24h. For phase II enzyme activity, DT-diaphorase, arylsulfatases, uridine 5'-diphospho (UDP)-glucuronosyltransferase or catechol-O-methyltransferase activity was determined in culture media containing planarians. The results of this study indicate that freshwater planarians are a promising model organism to monitor exposure to environmental pollutants or assess their impacts through the in vivo measurement of phase I and II enzyme activities.

  15. Knockdown of the coenzyme Q synthesis gene Smed-dlp1 affects planarian regeneration and tissue homeostasis.

    PubMed

    Shiobara, Yumiko; Harada, Chiaki; Shiota, Takeshi; Sakamoto, Kimitoshi; Kita, Kiyoshi; Tanaka, Saeko; Tabata, Kenta; Sekie, Kiyoteru; Yamamoto, Yorihiro; Sugiyama, Tomoyasu

    2015-12-01

    The freshwater planarian is a model organism used to study tissue regeneration that occupies an important position among multicellular organisms. Planarian genomic databases have led to the identification of genes that are required for regeneration, with implications for their roles in its underlying mechanism. Coenzyme Q (CoQ) is a fundamental lipophilic molecule that is synthesized and expressed in every cell of every organism. Furthermore, CoQ levels affect development, life span, disease and aging in nematodes and mice. Because CoQ can be ingested in food, it has been used in preventive nutrition. In this study, we investigated the role of CoQ in planarian regeneration. Planarians synthesize both CoQ9 and rhodoquinone 9 (RQ9). Knockdown of Smed-dlp1, a trans-prenyltransferase gene that encodes an enzyme that synthesizes the CoQ side chain, led to a decrease in CoQ9 and RQ9 levels. However, ATP levels did not consistently decrease in these animals. Knockdown animals exhibited tissue regression and curling. The number of mitotic cells decreased in Smed-dlp1 (RNAi) animals. These results suggested a failure in physiological cell turnover and stem cell function. Accordingly, regenerating planarians died from lysis or exhibited delayed regeneration. Interestingly, the observed phenotypes were partially rescued by ingesting food supplemented with α-tocopherol. Taken together, our results suggest that oxidative stress induced by reduced CoQ9 levels affects planarian regeneration and tissue homeostasis.

  16. Knockdown of the coenzyme Q synthesis gene Smed-dlp1 affects planarian regeneration and tissue homeostasis

    PubMed Central

    Shiobara, Yumiko; Harada, Chiaki; Shiota, Takeshi; Sakamoto, Kimitoshi; Kita, Kiyoshi; Tanaka, Saeko; Tabata, Kenta; Sekie, Kiyoteru; Yamamoto, Yorihiro; Sugiyama, Tomoyasu

    2015-01-01

    The freshwater planarian is a model organism used to study tissue regeneration that occupies an important position among multicellular organisms. Planarian genomic databases have led to the identification of genes that are required for regeneration, with implications for their roles in its underlying mechanism. Coenzyme Q (CoQ) is a fundamental lipophilic molecule that is synthesized and expressed in every cell of every organism. Furthermore, CoQ levels affect development, life span, disease and aging in nematodes and mice. Because CoQ can be ingested in food, it has been used in preventive nutrition. In this study, we investigated the role of CoQ in planarian regeneration. Planarians synthesize both CoQ9 and rhodoquinone 9 (RQ9). Knockdown of Smed-dlp1, a trans-prenyltransferase gene that encodes an enzyme that synthesizes the CoQ side chain, led to a decrease in CoQ9 and RQ9 levels. However, ATP levels did not consistently decrease in these animals. Knockdown animals exhibited tissue regression and curling. The number of mitotic cells decreased in Smed-dlp1 (RNAi) animals. These results suggested a failure in physiological cell turnover and stem cell function. Accordingly, regenerating planarians died from lysis or exhibited delayed regeneration. Interestingly, the observed phenotypes were partially rescued by ingesting food supplemented with α-tocopherol. Taken together, our results suggest that oxidative stress induced by reduced CoQ9 levels affects planarian regeneration and tissue homeostasis. PMID:26516985

  17. Pharmacological and functional genetic assays to manipulate regeneration of the planarian Dugesia japonica.

    PubMed

    Chan, John D; Marchant, Jonathan S

    2011-08-31

    Free-living planarian flatworms have a long history of experimental usage owing to their remarkable regenerative abilities. Small fragments excised from these animals reform the original body plan following regeneration of missing body structures. For example if a 'trunk' fragment is cut from an intact worm, a new 'head' will regenerate anteriorly and a 'tail' will regenerate posteriorly restoring the original 'head-to-tail' polarity of body structures prior to amputation. Regeneration is driven by planarian stem cells, known as 'neoblasts' which differentiate into ~30 different cell types during normal body homeostasis and enforced tissue regeneration. This regenerative process is robust and easy to demonstrate. Owing to the dedication of several pioneering labs, many tools and functional genetic methods have now been optimized for this model system. Consequently, considerable recent progress has been made in understanding and manipulating the molecular events underpinning planarian developmental plasticity. The planarian model system will be of interest to a broad range of scientists. For neuroscientists, the model affords the opportunity to study the regeneration of an entire nervous system, rather than simply the regrowth/repair of single nerve cell process that typically are the focus of study in many established models. Planarians express a plethora of neurotransmitters, represent an important system for studying evolution of the central nervous system and have behavioral screening potential. Regenerative outcomes are amenable to manipulation by pharmacological and genetic apparoaches. For example, drugs can be screened for effects on regeneration simply by placing body fragments in drug-containing solutions at different time points after amputation. The role of individual genes can be studied using knockdown methods (in vivo RNAi), which can be achieved either through cycles of microinjection or by feeding bacterially-expressed dsRNA constructs. Both

  18. Platyhelminth Venom Allergen-Like (VAL) proteins: revealing structural diversity, class-specific features and biological associations across the phylum

    PubMed Central

    CHALMERS, IAIN W.; HOFFMANN, KARL F.

    2012-01-01

    SUMMARY During platyhelminth infection, a cocktail of proteins is released by the parasite to aid invasion, initiate feeding, facilitate adaptation and mediate modulation of the host immune response. Included amongst these proteins is the Venom Allergen-Like (VAL) family, part of the larger sperm coating protein/Tpx-1/Ag5/PR-1/Sc7 (SCP/TAPS) superfamily. To explore the significance of this protein family during Platyhelminthes development and host interactions, we systematically summarize all published proteomic, genomic and immunological investigations of the VAL protein family to date. By conducting new genomic and transcriptomic interrogations to identify over 200 VAL proteins (228) from species in all 4 traditional taxonomic classes (Trematoda, Cestoda, Monogenea and Turbellaria), we further expand our knowledge related to platyhelminth VAL diversity across the phylum. Subsequent phylogenetic and tertiary structural analyses reveal several class-specific VAL features, which likely indicate a range of roles mediated by this protein family. Our comprehensive analysis of platyhelminth VALs represents a unifying synopsis for understanding diversity within this protein family and a firm context in which to initiate future functional characterization of these enigmatic members. PMID:22717097

  19. Planarians as a Model to Assess In Vivo the Role of Matrix Metalloproteinase Genes during Homeostasis and Regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Isolani, Maria Emilia; Abril, Josep F.; Saló, Emili; Deri, Paolo; Bianucci, Anna Maria; Batistoni, Renata

    2013-01-01

    Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are major executors of extracellular matrix remodeling and, consequently, play key roles in the response of cells to their microenvironment. The experimentally accessible stem cell population and the robust regenerative capabilities of planarians offer an ideal model to study how modulation of the proteolytic system in the extracellular environment affects cell behavior in vivo. Genome-wide identification of Schmidtea mediterranea MMPs reveals that planarians possess four mmp-like genes. Two of them (mmp1 and mmp2) are strongly expressed in a subset of secretory cells and encode putative matrilysins. The other genes (mt-mmpA and mt-mmpB) are widely expressed in postmitotic cells and appear structurally related to membrane-type MMPs. These genes are conserved in the planarian Dugesia japonica. Here we explore the role of the planarian mmp genes by RNA interference (RNAi) during tissue homeostasis and regeneration. Our analyses identify essential functions for two of them. Following inhibition of mmp1 planarians display dramatic disruption of tissues architecture and significant decrease in cell death. These results suggest that mmp1 controls tissue turnover, modulating survival of postmitotic cells. Unexpectedly, the ability to regenerate is unaffected by mmp1(RNAi). Silencing of mt-mmpA alters tissue integrity and delays blastema growth, without affecting proliferation of stem cells. Our data support the possibility that the activity of this protease modulates cell migration and regulates anoikis, with a consequent pivotal role in tissue homeostasis and regeneration. Our data provide evidence of the involvement of specific MMPs in tissue homeostasis and regeneration and demonstrate that the behavior of planarian stem cells is critically dependent on the microenvironment surrounding these cells. Studying MMPs function in the planarian model provides evidence on how individual proteases work in vivo in adult tissues. These results

  20. Planarians as a model to assess in vivo the role of matrix metalloproteinase genes during homeostasis and regeneration.

    PubMed

    Isolani, Maria Emilia; Abril, Josep F; Saló, Emili; Deri, Paolo; Bianucci, Anna Maria; Batistoni, Renata

    2013-01-01

    Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are major executors of extracellular matrix remodeling and, consequently, play key roles in the response of cells to their microenvironment. The experimentally accessible stem cell population and the robust regenerative capabilities of planarians offer an ideal model to study how modulation of the proteolytic system in the extracellular environment affects cell behavior in vivo. Genome-wide identification of Schmidtea mediterranea MMPs reveals that planarians possess four mmp-like genes. Two of them (mmp1 and mmp2) are strongly expressed in a subset of secretory cells and encode putative matrilysins. The other genes (mt-mmpA and mt-mmpB) are widely expressed in postmitotic cells and appear structurally related to membrane-type MMPs. These genes are conserved in the planarian Dugesia japonica. Here we explore the role of the planarian mmp genes by RNA interference (RNAi) during tissue homeostasis and regeneration. Our analyses identify essential functions for two of them. Following inhibition of mmp1 planarians display dramatic disruption of tissues architecture and significant decrease in cell death. These results suggest that mmp1 controls tissue turnover, modulating survival of postmitotic cells. Unexpectedly, the ability to regenerate is unaffected by mmp1(RNAi). Silencing of mt-mmpA alters tissue integrity and delays blastema growth, without affecting proliferation of stem cells. Our data support the possibility that the activity of this protease modulates cell migration and regulates anoikis, with a consequent pivotal role in tissue homeostasis and regeneration. Our data provide evidence of the involvement of specific MMPs in tissue homeostasis and regeneration and demonstrate that the behavior of planarian stem cells is critically dependent on the microenvironment surrounding these cells. Studying MMPs function in the planarian model provides evidence on how individual proteases work in vivo in adult tissues. These results

  1. Flow cytometry methods for the study of cell-cycle parameters of planarian stem cells.

    PubMed

    Kang, Hara; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro

    2009-05-01

    Due to their characteristic inaccessibility and low numbers, little is known about the cell-cycle dynamics of most stem cells in vivo. A powerful, established methodology to study cell-cycle dynamics is flow cytometry, which is used routinely to study the cell-cycle dynamics of proliferating cells in vitro. Its use in heterogeneous mixtures of cells obtained from whole animals, however, is complicated by the relatively low abundance of cycling to non-cycling cells. We report on flow cytometric methods that take advantage of the abundance of proliferating stem cells in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. The optimized protocols allow us to measure cell-cycle dynamics and follow BrdU-labeled cells specifically in complex mixtures of cells. These methods expand on the growing toolkit being developed to study stem cell biology in planarians, and open the door to detailed cytometric studies of a collectively totipotent population of adult stem cells in vivo.

  2. Go ahead, grow a head! A planarian's guide to anterior regeneration.

    PubMed

    Owlarn, Suthira; Bartscherer, Kerstin

    2016-06-01

    The unique ability of some planarian species to regenerate a head de novo, including a functional brain, provides an experimentally accessible system in which to study the mechanisms underlying regeneration. Here, we summarize the current knowledge on the key steps of planarian head regeneration (head-versus-tail decision, anterior pole formation and head patterning) and their molecular and cellular basis. Moreover, instructive properties of the anterior pole as a putative organizer and in coordinating anterior midline formation are discussed. Finally, we highlight that regeneration initiation occurs in a two-step manner and hypothesize that wound-induced and existing positional cues interact to detect tissue loss and together determine the appropriate regenerative outcomes.

  3. The More the Merrier?. Entropy and Statistics of Asexual Reproduction in Freshwater Planarians

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quinodoz, Sofia; Thomas, Michael A.; Dunkel, Jörn; Schötz, Eva-Maria

    2011-04-01

    The trade-off between traits in life-history strategies has been widely studied for sexual and parthenogenetic organisms, but relatively little is known about the reproduction strategies of asexual animals. Here, we investigate clonal reproduction in the freshwater planarian Schmidtea mediterranea, an important model organism for regeneration and stem cell research. We find that these flatworms adopt a randomized reproduction strategy that comprises both asymmetric binary fission and fragmentation (generation of multiple offspring during a reproduction cycle). Fragmentation in planarians has primarily been regarded as an abnormal behavior in the past; using a large-scale experimental approach, we now show that about one third of the reproduction events in S. mediterranea are fragmentations, implying that fragmentation is part of their normal reproductive behavior. Our analysis further suggests that certain characteristic aspects of the reproduction statistics can be explained in terms of a maximum relative entropy principle.

  4. Clonogenic neoblasts are pluripotent adult stem cells that underlie planarian regeneration.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Daniel E; Wang, Irving E; Reddien, Peter W

    2011-05-13

    Pluripotent cells in the embryo can generate all cell types, but lineage-restricted cells are generally thought to replenish adult tissues. Planarians are flatworms and regenerate from tiny body fragments, a process requiring a population of proliferating cells (neoblasts). Whether regeneration is accomplished by pluripotent cells or by the collective activity of multiple lineage-restricted cell types is unknown. We used ionizing radiation and single-cell transplantation to identify neoblasts that can form large descendant-cell colonies in vivo. These clonogenic neoblasts (cNeoblasts) produce cells that differentiate into neuronal, intestinal, and other known postmitotic cell types and are distributed throughout the body. Single transplanted cNeoblasts restored regeneration in lethally irradiated hosts. We conclude that broadly distributed, adult pluripotent stem cells underlie the remarkable regenerative abilities of planarians.

  5. Planarian activity differences when maintained in water pre-treated with magnetic fields: a nonlinear effect.

    PubMed

    Gang, Noa; Persinger, Michael A

    2011-12-01

    There have been multiple claims that exposing water to a static magnetic field affects its properties which influence living systems. To test this hypothesis, planarian subsequent to dissection were maintained in spring water that had been previously exposed for only one day to one of three (16, 160, or 1,600 G) intensity static magnetic fields or to a reference condition. Although there was no significant difference in regeneration rates over the subsequent seven-day period, there was a statistically significant nonlinear effect for planarian mobility and diffusion rates. Both mobility rates and diffusion velocity of a liquid within the water that had been exposed to the 16 G field was about twice that for water exposed to the other intensities. These results imply that nonlinear biophysical effects may emerge under specific conditions of intensity ranges for particular volumes of water.

  6. teashirt is required for head-versus-tail regeneration polarity in planarians.

    PubMed

    Owen, Jared H; Wagner, Daniel E; Chen, Chun-Chieh; Petersen, Christian P; Reddien, Peter W

    2015-03-15

    Regeneration requires that the identities of new cells are properly specified to replace missing tissues. The Wnt signaling pathway serves a central role in specifying posterior cell fates during planarian regeneration. We identified a gene encoding a homolog of the Teashirt family of zinc-finger proteins in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea to be a target of Wnt signaling in intact animals and at posterior-facing wounds. Inhibition of Smed-teashirt (teashirt) by RNA interference (RNAi) resulted in the regeneration of heads in place of tails, a phenotype previously observed with RNAi of the Wnt pathway genes β-catenin-1, wnt1, Dvl-1/2 or wntless. teashirt was required for β-catenin-1-dependent activation of posterior genes during regeneration. These findings identify teashirt as a transcriptional target of Wnt signaling required for Wnt-mediated specification of posterior blastemas.

  7. Go ahead, grow a head! A planarian's guide to anterior regeneration

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The unique ability of some planarian species to regenerate a head de novo, including a functional brain, provides an experimentally accessible system in which to study the mechanisms underlying regeneration. Here, we summarize the current knowledge on the key steps of planarian head regeneration (head‐versus‐tail decision, anterior pole formation and head patterning) and their molecular and cellular basis. Moreover, instructive properties of the anterior pole as a putative organizer and in coordinating anterior midline formation are discussed. Finally, we highlight that regeneration initiation occurs in a two‐step manner and hypothesize that wound‐induced and existing positional cues interact to detect tissue loss and together determine the appropriate regenerative outcomes. PMID:27606065

  8. Planarian Hh signaling regulates regeneration polarity and links Hh pathway evolution to cilia.

    PubMed

    Rink, Jochen C; Gurley, Kyle A; Elliott, Sarah A; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro

    2009-12-04

    The Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway plays multiple essential roles during metazoan development, homeostasis, and disease. Although core protein components are highly conserved, the variations in Hh signal transduction mechanisms exhibited by existing model systems (Drosophila, fish, and mammals) are difficult to understand. We characterized the Hh pathway in planarians. Hh signaling is essential for establishing the anterior/posterior axis during regeneration by modulating wnt expression. Moreover, RNA interference methods to reduce signal transduction proteins Cos2/Kif27/Kif7, Fused, or Iguana do not result in detectable Hh signaling defects; however, these proteins are essential for planarian ciliogenesis. Our study expands the understanding of Hh signaling in the animal kingdom and suggests an ancestral mechanistic link between Hh signaling and the function of cilia.

  9. teashirt is required for head-versus-tail regeneration polarity in planarians

    PubMed Central

    Owen, Jared H.; Wagner, Daniel E.; Chen, Chun-Chieh; Petersen, Christian P.; Reddien, Peter W.

    2015-01-01

    Regeneration requires that the identities of new cells are properly specified to replace missing tissues. The Wnt signaling pathway serves a central role in specifying posterior cell fates during planarian regeneration. We identified a gene encoding a homolog of the Teashirt family of zinc-finger proteins in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea to be a target of Wnt signaling in intact animals and at posterior-facing wounds. Inhibition of Smed-teashirt (teashirt) by RNA interference (RNAi) resulted in the regeneration of heads in place of tails, a phenotype previously observed with RNAi of the Wnt pathway genes β-catenin-1, wnt1, Dvl-1/2 or wntless. teashirt was required for β-catenin-1-dependent activation of posterior genes during regeneration. These findings identify teashirt as a transcriptional target of Wnt signaling required for Wnt-mediated specification of posterior blastemas. PMID:25725068

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

    PubMed Central

    van Wolfswinkel, Josien C.; Wagner, Daniel E.; Reddien, Peter W.

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25017721

  11. A taste for exotic food: Neotropical land planarians feeding on an invasive flatworm.

    PubMed

    Boll, Piter K; Rossi, Ilana; Amaral, Silvana V; Leal-Zanchet, Ana

    2015-01-01

    Invasive species establish successfully in new habitats especially due to their ability to include new species in their diet and due to the freedom from natural enemies. However, native species may also adapt to the use of new elements in their ecosystem. The planarian Endeavouria septemlineata, first recorded in Hawaii, was later found in Brazil. Recently, we found it in human-disturbed areas in southern Brazil and here we investigate its interactions with other invertebrates both in the field and in the laboratory. We observed the species in the field during collecting activities and hence maintained some specimens alive in small terraria in the laboratory, where we offered different invertebrate species as potential prey and also put them in contact with native land planarians in order to examine their interaction. Both in the field and in the laboratory, E. septemlineata showed a gregarious behavior and was found feeding on woodlice, millipedes, earwigs and gastropods. In the laboratory, specimens often did not attack live prey, but immediately approached dead specimens, indicating a scavenging behavior. In an experiment using the slug Deroceras laeve and the woodlouse Atlantoscia floridana, there was a higher consumption of dead specimens of woodlice and slugs compared to live specimens, as well as a higher consumption of dead woodlice over dead slugs. Four native land planarians of the genus Obama and one of the genus Paraba attacked and consumed E. septemlineata, which, after the beginning of the attack, tried to escape by tumbling or using autotomy. As a scavenger, E. septemlineata would have no impact on the populations of species used as food, but could possibly exclude native scavengers by competition. On the other hand, its consumption by native land planarians may control its spread and thus reduce its impact on the ecosystem.

  12. Two distinct roles of the yorkie/yap gene during homeostasis in the planarian Dugesia japonica.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Byulnim; An, Yang; Agata, Kiyokazu; Umesono, Yoshihiko

    2015-04-01

    Adult planarians possess somatic pluripotent stem cells called neoblasts that give rise to all missing cell types during regeneration and homeostasis. Recent studies revealed that the Yorkie (Yki)/Yes-associated protein (YAP) transcriptional coactivator family plays an important role in the regulation of tissue growth during development and regeneration, and therefore we investigated the role of a planarian yki-related gene (termed Djyki) during regeneration and homeostasis of the freshwater planarian Dugesia japonica. We found that knockdown of the function of Djyki by RNA interference (RNAi) downregulated neoblast proliferation and caused regeneration defects after amputation. In addition, Djyki RNAi caused edema during homeostasis. These seemingly distinct defects induced by Djyki RNAi were rescued by simultaneous RNAi of a planarian mats-related gene (termed Djmats), suggesting an important role of Djmats in the negative regulation of Djyki, in accordance with the conservation of the functional relationship of these two genes during the course of evolution. Interestingly, Djyki RNAi did not prevent normal protonephridial structure, suggesting that Djyki RNAi induced the edema phenotype without affecting the excretory system. Further analyses revealed that increased expression of the D. japonica gene DjaquaporinA (DjaqpA), which belongs to a large gene family that encodes a water channel protein for the regulation of transcellular water flow, promoted the induction of edema, but not defects in neoblast dynamics, in Djyki(RNAi) animals. Thus, we conclude that Djyki plays two distinct roles in the regulation of active proliferation of stem cells and in osmotic water transport across the body surface in D. japonica.

  13. [Effects of weak magnetic fields on different phases of planarian regeneration].

    PubMed

    Tiras, Kh P; Petrova, O N; Miakisheva, S N; Popova, S S; Aslanidi, K B

    2015-01-01

    We analyzed the effects of weak combined magnetic fields, tuned to the cyclotron resonance condition for calcium ions, obtained in different phases of planarian regeneration. We showed that the result of regeneration in 72 hours after decapitation depends on the length of exposure, and the time between decapitation and initiation of a half-hour exposure. The experimental dependence can be explained by a multiplicity of enzymatic targets activated in different phases of the regeneration process.

  14. The planarian P2X homolog in the regulation of asexual reproduction.

    PubMed

    Sakurai, Toshihide; Lee, Hayoung; Kashima, Makoto; Saito, Yumi; Hayashi, Tetsutaro; Kudome-Takamatsu, Tomomi; Nishimura, Osamu; Agata, Kiyokazu; Shibata, Norito

    2012-01-01

    The growth in size of freshwater planarians in response to nutrient intake is limited by the eventual separation of tail and body fragments in a process called fission. The resulting tail fragment regenerates the entire body as an artificially amputated tail fragment would do, and the body fragment regenerates a tail, resulting in two whole planarians. This regenerative ability is supported by pluripotent somatic stem cells, called neoblasts, which are distributed throughout almost the entire body of the planarian. Neoblasts are the only planarian cells with the ability to continuously proliferate and give rise to all types of cells during regeneration, asexual reproduction, homeostasis, and growth. In order to investigate the molecular characteristics of neoblasts, we conducted an extensive search for neoblast-specific genes using the High Coverage Expression Profiling (HiCEP) method, and tested the function of the resulting candidates by RNAi. Disruption of the expression of one candidate gene, DjP2X-A (Dugesia japonica membrane protein P2X homologue), resulted in a unique phenotype. DjP2X-A RNAi leads to an increase of fission events upon feeding. We confirmed by immunohistochemistry that DjP2X-A is a membrane protein, and elucidated its role in regulating neoblast proliferation, thereby explaining its unique phenotype. We found that DjP2X-A decreases the burst of neoblast proliferation that normally occurs after feeding. We also found that DjP2X-A is required for normal proliferation in starved animals. We propose that DjP2X-A modulates stem cell proliferation in response to the nutritional condition.

  15. Genome-Wide Analyses Reveal a Role for Peptide Hormones in Planarian Germline Development

    PubMed Central

    Collins, James J.; Hou, Xiaowen; Romanova, Elena V.; Lambrus, Bramwell G.; Miller, Claire M.; Saberi, Amir; Sweedler, Jonathan V.; Newmark, Phillip A.

    2010-01-01

    Bioactive peptides (i.e., neuropeptides or peptide hormones) represent the largest class of cell-cell signaling molecules in metazoans and are potent regulators of neural and physiological function. In vertebrates, peptide hormones play an integral role in endocrine signaling between the brain and the gonads that controls reproductive development, yet few of these molecules have been shown to influence reproductive development in invertebrates. Here, we define a role for peptide hormones in controlling reproductive physiology of the model flatworm, the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. Based on our observation that defective neuropeptide processing results in defects in reproductive system development, we employed peptidomic and functional genomic approaches to characterize the planarian peptide hormone complement, identifying 51 prohormone genes and validating 142 peptides biochemically. Comprehensive in situ hybridization analyses of prohormone gene expression revealed the unanticipated complexity of the flatworm nervous system and identified a prohormone specifically expressed in the nervous system of sexually reproducing planarians. We show that this member of the neuropeptide Y superfamily is required for the maintenance of mature reproductive organs and differentiated germ cells in the testes. Additionally, comparative analyses of our biochemically validated prohormones with the genomes of the parasitic flatworms Schistosoma mansoni and Schistosoma japonicum identified new schistosome prohormones and validated half of all predicted peptide-encoding genes in these parasites. These studies describe the peptide hormone complement of a flatworm on a genome-wide scale and reveal a previously uncharacterized role for peptide hormones in flatworm reproduction. Furthermore, they suggest new opportunities for using planarians as free-living models for understanding the reproductive biology of flatworm parasites. PMID:20967238

  16. A taste for exotic food: Neotropical land planarians feeding on an invasive flatworm

    PubMed Central

    Boll, Piter K.; Rossi, Ilana; Amaral, Silvana V.

    2015-01-01

    Invasive species establish successfully in new habitats especially due to their ability to include new species in their diet and due to the freedom from natural enemies. However, native species may also adapt to the use of new elements in their ecosystem. The planarian Endeavouria septemlineata, first recorded in Hawaii, was later found in Brazil. Recently, we found it in human-disturbed areas in southern Brazil and here we investigate its interactions with other invertebrates both in the field and in the laboratory. We observed the species in the field during collecting activities and hence maintained some specimens alive in small terraria in the laboratory, where we offered different invertebrate species as potential prey and also put them in contact with native land planarians in order to examine their interaction. Both in the field and in the laboratory, E. septemlineata showed a gregarious behavior and was found feeding on woodlice, millipedes, earwigs and gastropods. In the laboratory, specimens often did not attack live prey, but immediately approached dead specimens, indicating a scavenging behavior. In an experiment using the slug Deroceras laeve and the woodlouse Atlantoscia floridana, there was a higher consumption of dead specimens of woodlice and slugs compared to live specimens, as well as a higher consumption of dead woodlice over dead slugs. Four native land planarians of the genus Obama and one of the genus Paraba attacked and consumed E. septemlineata, which, after the beginning of the attack, tried to escape by tumbling or using autotomy. As a scavenger, E. septemlineata would have no impact on the populations of species used as food, but could possibly exclude native scavengers by competition. On the other hand, its consumption by native land planarians may control its spread and thus reduce its impact on the ecosystem. PMID:26500817

  17. Staining of Platyhelminthes by herbal dyes: An eco-friendly technique for the taxonomist

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Niranjan; Mehul, Jadav; Das, Bhupamani; Solanki, J. B.

    2015-01-01

    Aim: An environment compatible technique to stain Platyhelminthes, Fasciola gigantica, Gastrothylax crumenifer, Taenia solium, and Moniezia expansa using aqueous and alcoholic extract of sugar beet (Beta vulgaris), China rose (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis), and red rose (Rosa hybrida) were described to minimized the deleterious effects of the synthetic dyes. Materials and Methods: Aqueous/ethanolic extracts of roses were extracted from the flowers while red beet was extracted from the roots. Results: Stained helminthes acquired a comparable level of pigmentation with the distinction of their internal structure in these natural dyes. The flukes (liver and rumen) internal structure, oral and ventral/posterior sucker, cirrus sac, gravid uterus, testes, ovary, and vitallaria were appeared pink color in aqueous and alcoholic extract of either China or red rose and yellow to brown color in sugar beet stain. The interior of the proglottid of T. solium and M. expansa took yellow to brown color with good contrast in sugar beet stain and of pink to pink-red in China and red rose stain. Conclusion: The extract of roses (red rose followed by China rose) followed by red beet possess the potential to replace the conventional stains in the taxonomic study of Platyhelminthes parasites. PMID:27047037

  18. Nuclear genomic signals of the ‘microturbellarian’ roots of platyhelminth evolutionary innovation

    PubMed Central

    Laumer, Christopher E; Hejnol, Andreas; Giribet, Gonzalo

    2015-01-01

    Flatworms number among the most diverse invertebrate phyla and represent the most biomedically significant branch of the major bilaterian clade Spiralia, but to date, deep evolutionary relationships within this group have been studied using only a single locus (the rRNA operon), leaving the origins of many key clades unclear. In this study, using a survey of genomes and transcriptomes representing all free-living flatworm orders, we provide resolution of platyhelminth interrelationships based on hundreds of nuclear protein-coding genes, exploring phylogenetic signal through concatenation as well as recently developed consensus approaches. These analyses robustly support a modern hypothesis of flatworm phylogeny, one which emphasizes the primacy of the often-overlooked ‘microturbellarian’ groups in understanding the major evolutionary transitions within Platyhelminthes: perhaps most notably, we propose a novel scenario for the interrelationships between free-living and vertebrate-parasitic flatworms, providing new opportunities to shed light on the origins and biological consequences of parasitism in these iconic invertebrates. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.05503.001 PMID:25764302

  19. Guarana provides additional stimulation over caffeine alone in the planarian model.

    PubMed

    Moustakas, Dimitrios; Mezzio, Michael; Rodriguez, Branden R; Constable, Mic Andre; Mulligan, Margaret E; Voura, Evelyn B

    2015-01-01

    The stimulant effect of energy drinks is primarily attributed to the caffeine they contain. Many energy drinks also contain other ingredients that might enhance the tonic effects of these caffeinated beverages. One of these additives is guarana. Guarana is a climbing plant native to the Amazon whose seeds contain approximately four times the amount of caffeine found in coffee beans. The mix of other natural chemicals contained in guarana seeds is thought to heighten the stimulant effects of guarana over caffeine alone. Yet, despite the growing use of guarana as an additive in energy drinks, and a burgeoning market for it as a nutritional supplement, the science examining guarana and how it affects other dietary ingredients is lacking. To appreciate the stimulant effects of guarana and other natural products, a straightforward model to investigate their physiological properties is needed. The planarian provides such a system. The locomotor activity and convulsive response of planarians with substance exposure has been shown to provide an excellent system to measure the effects of drug stimulation, addiction and withdrawal. To gauge the stimulant effects of guarana we studied how it altered the locomotor activity of the planarian species Dugesia tigrina. We report evidence that guarana seeds provide additional stimulation over caffeine alone, and document the changes to this stimulation in the context of both caffeine and glucose.

  20. Topiramate antagonizes NMDA- and AMPA-induced seizure-like activity in planarians.

    PubMed

    Rawls, Scott M; Thomas, Timmy; Adeola, Mobilaji; Patil, Tanvi; Raymondi, Natalie; Poles, Asha; Loo, Michael; Raffa, Robert B

    2009-10-01

    The mechanism of anticonvulsant action of topiramate includes inhibition of glutamate-activated ion channels. The evidence is most convincing for direct inhibitory action at the ionotropic AMPA (alpha-Amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid) and kainate ((2S,3S,4S)-3-(Carboxymethyl)-4-prop-1-en-2-ylpyrrolidine-2-carboxylic acid) glutamate receptor subtypes. Less direct connection has been made to the NMDA (N-Methyl-d-aspartate) subtype. In the present study, we demonstrate that NMDA and AMPA produce concentration-dependent seizure-like activity in planarians, a type of flatworm which possesses mammalian-like neurotransmitters. In contrast, planarians exposed to the inhibitory amino acid, glycine, did not display pSLA. For combination experiments, topiramate significantly reduced planarian seizure-like activity (pSLA) produced by NMDA or AMPA. Additionally, NMDA-induced pSLA was antagonized by either an NMDA receptor antagonist (MK-801) or AMPA receptor antagonist (DNQX), thus suggesting that NMDA-induced pSLA was mediated by NMDA and non-NMDA receptors. The present results provide pharmacologic evidence of a functional inhibitory action of topiramate on glutamate receptor activity in invertebrates and provide a sensitive, quantifiable end-point for studying anti-seizure pharmacology.

  1. Gap junction proteins: master regulators of the planarian stem cell response to tissue maintenance and injury.

    PubMed

    Peiris, T Harshani; Oviedo, Néstor J

    2013-01-01

    Gap junction (GJ) proteins are crucial mediators of cell-cell communication during embryogenesis, tissue regeneration and disease. GJ proteins form plasma membrane channels that facilitate passage of small molecules across cells and modulate signaling pathways and cellular behavior in different tissues. These properties have been conserved throughout evolution, and in most invertebrates GJ proteins are known as innexins. Despite their critical relevance for physiology and disease, the mechanisms by which GJ proteins modulate cell behavior are poorly understood. This review summarizes findings from recent work that uses planarian flatworms as a paradigm to analyze GJ proteins in the complexity of the whole organism. The planarian model allows access to a large pool of adult somatic stem cells (known as neoblasts) that support physiological cell turnover and tissue regeneration. Innexin proteins are present in planarians and play a fundamental role in controlling neoblast behavior. We discuss the possibility that GJ proteins participate as cellular sensors that inform neoblasts about local and systemic physiological demands. We believe that functional analyses of GJ proteins will bring a complementary perspective to studies that focus on the temporal expression of genes. Finally, integrating functional studies along with molecular genetics and epigenetic approaches would expand our understanding of cellular regulation in vivo and greatly enhance the possibilities for rationally modulating stem cell behavior in their natural environment. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: The communicating junctions, roles and dysfunctions.

  2. Morphological and functional recovery of the planarian photosensing system during head regeneration.

    PubMed

    Inoue, Takeshi; Kumamoto, Hiroshi; Okamoto, Keiji; Umesono, Yoshihiko; Sakai, Masaki; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro; Agata, Kiyokazu

    2004-03-01

    When exposed to light, planarians display a distinctive light avoidance behavior known as negative phototaxis. Such behavior is temporarily suppressed when animals are decapitated, and it is restored once the animals regenerate their heads. Head regeneration and the simple but reproducible phototactic response of planarians provides an opportunity to study the association between neuronal differentiation and the establishment of behavior in a simple, experimentally tractable metazoan. We have devised a phototaxis assay system to analyze light response recovery during head regeneration and determined that light evasion is markedly re-established 5 days after amputation. Immunohistological and in situ hybridization studies indicate that the photoreceptors and optic nerve connections to the brain begin by the fourth day of cephalic regeneration. To experimentally manipulate the light response recovery, we performed gene knockdown analysis using RNA interference (RNAi) on two genes (1020HH and eye53) previously reported to be expressed at 5 days after amputation and in the dorso-medial region of the brain (where the optic nerves project). Although RNAi failed to produce morphological defects in either the brain or the visual neurons, the recovery of the phototactic response normally observed in 5-day regenerates was significantly suppressed. The data suggest that 1020HH and eye53 may be involved in the functional recovery and maintenance of the visual system, and that the phototaxis assay presented here can be used to reliably quantify the negative phototactic behavior of planarians.

  3. Cellular and molecular dissection of pluripotent adult somatic stem cells in planarians.

    PubMed

    Shibata, Norito; Rouhana, Labib; Agata, Kiyokazu

    2010-01-01

    Freshwater planarians, Plathelminthes, have been an intriguing model animal of regeneration studies for more than 100 years. Their robust regenerative ability is one of asexual reproductive capacity, in which complete animals develop from tiny body fragments within a week. Pluripotent adult somatic stem cells, called neoblasts, assure this regenerative ability. Neoblasts give rise to not only all types of somatic cells, but also germline cells. During the last decade, several experimental techniques for the analysis of planarian neoblasts at the molecular level, such as in situ hybridization, RNAi and fluorescence activated cell sorting, have been established. Moreover, information about genes involved in maintenance and differentiation of neoblasts has been accumulated. One of the molecular features of neoblasts is the expression of many RNA regulators, which are involved in germline development in other animals, such as vasa and piwi family genes. In this review, we introduce physiological and molecular features of the neoblast, and discuss how germline genes regulate planarian neoblasts and what differences exist between neoblasts and germline cells.

  4. Stem cell-based growth, regeneration, and remodeling of the planarian intestine

    PubMed Central

    Forsthoefel, David J.; Park, Amanda E.; Newmark, Phillip A.

    2011-01-01

    Although some animals are capable of regenerating organs, the mechanisms by which this is achieved are poorly understood. In planarians, pluripotent somatic stem cells called neoblasts supply new cells for growth, replenish tissues in response to cellular turnover, and regenerate tissues after injury. For most tissues and organs, however, the spatiotemporal dynamics of stem cell differentiation and the fate of tissue that existed prior to injury have not been characterized systematically. Utilizing in vivo imaging and bromodeoxyuridine pulse-chase experiments, we have analyzed growth and regeneration of the planarian intestine, the organ responsible for digestion and nutrient distribution. During growth, we observe that new gut branches are added along the entire anteroposterior axis. We find that new enterocytes differentiate throughout the intestine rather than in specific growth zones, suggesting that branching morphogenesis is achieved primarily by remodeling of differentiated intestinal tissues. During regeneration, we also demonstrate a previously unappreciated degree of intestinal remodeling, in which pre-existing posterior gut tissue contributes extensively to the newly formed anterior gut, and vice versa. By contrast to growing animals, differentiation of new intestinal cells occurs at preferential locations, including within newly generated tissue (the blastema), and along pre-existing intestinal branches undergoing remodeling. Our results indicate that growth and regeneration of the planarian intestine are achieved by coordinated differentiation of stem cells and the remodeling of pre-existing tissues. Elucidation of the mechanisms by which these processes are integrated will be critical for understanding organogenesis in a post-embryonic context. PMID:21664348

  5. Characterization and expression analysis of a trypsin-like serine protease from planarian Dugesia japonica.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Luming; Wu, Suge; Liu, Dianchen; Xu, Bo; Zhang, Xiufang; Zhao, Bosheng

    2012-06-01

    Trypsin-like serine proteases are involved in large number of processes, especially in digestive degradation and immune responses. Here, we identify the characterization of a trypsin-like serine protease in planarian, Djtry, which interestingly has the incompletely conserved catalytic triad (K, D, and S). Phylogenetic analysis suggests that Djtry is an ancient type of trypsin-like serine proteases. The spatial and temporal expression patterns of Djtry are shown during regenerating and embryonic development by whole-mount in situ hybridization. Djtry is found to display a tissue specific expression pattern, with a predominant expression detected in whole gut region of intact and regenerating planarian. While the tissue- and stage-specific expression patterns during the embryonic development imply the roles of Djtry involve in yolk degradation and gut formation. Quantitative real-time PCR was carried out to analyze the function of this protease in vivo after planarians were stimulated to a bacterial challenge and food. The results showed that Djtry increased after a bacterial challenge and was basically stable for food. Therefore, the trypsin-like serine protease might be involved in the innate defense reactions against bacterial infection.

  6. Molecular characterization of the glucose-regulated protein 78 (GRP78) gene in planarian Dugesia japonica.

    PubMed

    Ma, Ke-Xue; Chen, Guang-Wen; Shi, Chang-Ying; Cheng, Fang-Fang; Dou, He; Feng, Cheng-Cheng; Liu, De-Zeng

    2014-05-01

    GRP78 (78 kDa glucose-regulated protein) has ubiquitously existed in nearly all organisms from yeast to humans, reflecting the central roles it plays in cell survival. In this report, we isolated and sequenced the full-length cDNA of GRP78 (designated DjGRP78) from the planarian Dugesia japonica. The cDNA is 2121 bp, including an open reading frame (ORF) of 1983 bp encoding a polypeptide of 660 amino acids with three HSP70 family signatures. DjGRP78 contains signal peptides at the N-terminus and a KTEL peptide motif at the C-terminus, which suggests that it localizes in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Fluorescent real time RT-PCR was employed to detect the expression pattern of Djgrp78 in response to different stressors. Our results show that heat shock and heavy metals (Hg(2+) and Pb(2+)) induce Djgrp78 expression, but starvation does not. Interestingly, we found that Djgrp78 was up-regulated in planarians with septic tissues, and also verified that it was up-regulated in response to bacterial challenge. Our data indicate that Djgrp78 may be a multifunctional gene, and play important roles in physiological and pathological stress in planarians.

  7. Tryptophan hydroxylase Is Required for Eye Melanogenesis in the Planarian Schmidtea mediterranea.

    PubMed

    Lambrus, Bramwell G; Cochet-Escartin, Olivier; Gao, Jiarong; Newmark, Phillip A; Collins, Eva-Maria S; Collins, James J

    2015-01-01

    Melanins are ubiquitous and biologically important pigments, yet the molecular mechanisms that regulate their synthesis and biochemical composition are not fully understood. Here we present a study that supports a role for serotonin in melanin synthesis in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. We characterize the tryptophan hydroxylase (tph) gene, which encodes the rate-limiting enzyme in serotonin synthesis, and demonstrate by RNA interference that tph is essential for melanin production in the pigment cups of the planarian photoreceptors. We exploit this phenotype to investigate the biological function of pigment cups using a quantitative light-avoidance behavioral assay. Planarians lacking eye pigment remain phototactic, indicating that eye pigmentation is not essential for light avoidance in S. mediterranea, though it improves the efficiency of the photophobic response. Finally, we show that the eye pigmentation defect observed in tph knockdown animals can be rescued by injection of either the product of TPH, 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), or serotonin. Together, these results highlight a role for serotonin in melanogenesis, perhaps as a regulatory signal or as a pigment substrate. To our knowledge, this is the first example of this relationship to be reported outside of mammalian systems.

  8. Stem cell-based growth, regeneration, and remodeling of the planarian intestine.

    PubMed

    Forsthoefel, David J; Park, Amanda E; Newmark, Phillip A

    2011-08-15

    Although some animals are capable of regenerating organs, the mechanisms by which this is achieved are poorly understood. In planarians, pluripotent somatic stem cells called neoblasts supply new cells for growth, replenish tissues in response to cellular turnover, and regenerate tissues after injury. For most tissues and organs, however, the spatiotemporal dynamics of stem cell differentiation and the fate of tissue that existed prior to injury have not been characterized systematically. Utilizing in vivo imaging and bromodeoxyuridine pulse-chase experiments, we have analyzed growth and regeneration of the planarian intestine, the organ responsible for digestion and nutrient distribution. During growth, we observe that new gut branches are added along the entire anteroposterior axis. We find that new enterocytes differentiate throughout the intestine rather than in specific growth zones, suggesting that branching morphogenesis is achieved primarily by remodeling of differentiated intestinal tissues. During regeneration, we also demonstrate a previously unappreciated degree of intestinal remodeling, in which pre-existing posterior gut tissue contributes extensively to the newly formed anterior gut, and vice versa. By contrast to growing animals, differentiation of new intestinal cells occurs at preferential locations, including within newly generated tissue (the blastema), and along pre-existing intestinal branches undergoing remodeling. Our results indicate that growth and regeneration of the planarian intestine are achieved by co-ordinated differentiation of stem cells and the remodeling of pre-existing tissues. Elucidation of the mechanisms by which these processes are integrated will be critical for understanding organogenesis in a post-embryonic context.

  9. Planarian regeneration involves distinct stem cell responses to wounds and tissue absence.

    PubMed

    Wenemoser, Danielle; Reddien, Peter W

    2010-08-15

    Regeneration requires signaling from a wound site for detection of the wound and a mechanism that determines the nature of the injury to specify the appropriate regenerative response. Wound signals and tissue responses to wounds that elicit regeneration remain poorly understood. Planarians are able to regenerate from essentially any type of injury and present a novel system for the study of wound responses in regeneration initiation. Newly developed molecular and cellular tools now enable study of regeneration initiation using the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. Planarian regeneration requires adult stem cells called neoblasts and amputation triggers two peaks in neoblast mitoses early in regeneration. We demonstrate that the first mitotic peak is a body-wide response to any injury and that a second, local, neoblast response is induced only when injury results in missing tissue. This second response was characterized by recruitment of neoblasts to wounds, even in areas that lack neoblasts in the intact animal. Subsequently, these neoblasts were induced to divide and differentiate near the wound, leading to formation of new tissue. We conclude that there exist two functionally distinct signaling phases of the stem cell wound response that distinguish between simple injury and situations that require the regeneration of missing tissue.

  10. Restoration of anterior regeneration in a planarian with limited regenerative ability.

    PubMed

    Sikes, James M; Newmark, Phillip A

    2013-08-01

    Variability of regenerative potential among animals has long perplexed biologists. On the basis of their exceptional regenerative abilities, planarians have become important models for understanding the molecular basis of regeneration. However, planarian species with limited regenerative abilities are also found. Despite the importance of understanding the differences between closely related, regenerating and non-regenerating organisms, few studies have focused on the evolutionary loss of regeneration, and the molecular mechanisms leading to such regenerative loss remain obscure. Here we examine Procotyla fluviatilis, a planarian with restricted ability to replace missing tissues, using next-generation sequencing to define the gene expression programs active in regeneration-permissive and regeneration-deficient tissues. We found that Wnt signalling is aberrantly activated in regeneration-deficient tissues. Notably, downregulation of canonical Wnt signalling in regeneration-deficient regions restores regenerative abilities: blastemas form and new heads regenerate in tissues that normally never regenerate. This work reveals that manipulating a single signalling pathway can reverse the evolutionary loss of regenerative potential.

  11. TORC1 is required to balance cell proliferation and cell death in planarians.

    PubMed

    Tu, Kimberly C; Pearson, Bret J; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro

    2012-05-15

    Multicellular organisms are equipped with cellular mechanisms that enable them to replace differentiated cells lost to normal physiological turnover, injury, and for some such as planarians, even amputation. This process of tissue homeostasis is generally mediated by adult stem cells (ASCs), tissue-specific stem cells responsible for maintaining anatomical form and function. To do so, ASCs must modulate the balance between cell proliferation, i.e. in response to nutrients, and that of cell death, i.e. in response to starvation or injury. But how these two antagonistic processes are coordinated remains unclear. Here, we explore the role of the core components of the TOR pathway during planarian tissue homeostasis and regeneration and identified an essential function for TORC1 in these two processes. RNAi-mediated silencing of TOR in intact animals resulted in a significant increase in cell death, whereas stem cell proliferation and stem cell maintenance were unaffected. Amputated animals failed to increase stem cell proliferation after wounding and displayed defects in tissue remodeling. Together, our findings suggest two distinct roles for TORC1 in planarians. TORC1 is required to modulate the balance between cell proliferation and cell death during normal cell turnover and in response to nutrients. In addition, it is required to initiate appropriate stem cell proliferation during regeneration and for proper tissue remodeling to occur to maintain scale and proportion.

  12. Existence of two sexual races in the planarian species switching between asexual and sexual reproduction.

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, Kazuya; Maezawa, Takanobu; Nakagawa, Haruka; Hoshi, Motonori

    2012-04-01

    In certain planarian species that are able to switch between asexual and sexual reproduction, determining whether a sexual has the ability to switch to the asexual state is problematic, which renders the definition of sexuals controversial. We experimentally show the existence of two sexual races, acquired and innate, in the planarian Dugesia ryukyuensis. Acquired sexuals used in this study were experimentally switched from asexuals. Inbreeding of acquired sexuals produced both innate sexuals and asexuals, but inbreeding of innate sexuals produced innate sexuals only and no asexuals. Acquired sexuals, but not innate sexuals, were forced to become asexuals by ablation and regeneration (asexual induction). This suggests that acquired sexuals somehow retain asexual potential, while innate sexuals do not. We also found that acquired sexuals have the potential to develop hyperplastic and supernumerary ovaries, while innate sexuals do not. In this regard, acquired sexuals were more prolific than innate sexuals. The differences between acquired and innate sexuals will provide a structure for examining the mechanism underlying asexual and sexual reproduction in planarians.

  13. Early exposure of rotating magnetic fields promotes central nervous regeneration in planarian Girardia sinensis.

    PubMed

    Chen, Qiang; Lin, Gui-miao; Wu, Nan; Tang, Sheng-wei; Zheng, Zhi-jia; Lin, Marie Chia-mi; Xu, Gai-xia; Liu, Hao; Deng, Yue-yue; Zhang, Xiao-yun; Chen, Si-ping; Wang, Xiao-mei; Niu, Han-ben

    2016-05-01

    Magnetic field exposure is an accepted safe and effective modality for nerve injury. However, it is clinically used only as a supplement or salvage therapy at the later stage of treatment. Here, we used a planarian Girardia sinensis decapitated model to investigate beneficial effects of early rotary non-uniform magnetic fields (RMFs) exposure on central nervous regeneration. Our results clearly indicated that magnetic stimulation induced from early RMFs exposure significantly promoted neural regeneration of planarians. This stimulating effect is frequency and intensity dependent. Optimum effects were obtained when decapitated planarians were cultured at 20 °C, starved for 3 days before head-cutting, and treated with 6 Hz 0.02 T RMFs. At early regeneration stage, RMFs exposure eliminated edema around the wound and facilitated subsequent formation of blastema. It also accelerated cell proliferation and recovery of neuron functionality. Early RMFs exposure up-regulated expression of neural regeneration related proteins, EGR4 and Netrin 2, and mature nerve cell marker proteins, NSE and NPY. These results suggest that RMFs therapy produced early and significant benefit in central nervous regeneration, and should be clinically used at the early stage of neural regeneration, with appropriate optimal frequency and intensity.

  14. A Comparative Transcriptomic Analysis Reveals Conserved Features of Stem Cell Pluripotency in Planarians and Mammals

    PubMed Central

    Labbé, Roselyne M.; Irimia, Manuel; Currie, Ko W.; Lin, Alexander; Zhu, Shu Jun; Brown, David D.R.; Ross, Eric J.; Voisin, Veronique; Bader, Gary D.; Blencowe, Benjamin J.; Pearson, Bret J.

    2014-01-01

    Many long-lived species of animals require the function of adult stem cells throughout their lives. However, the transcriptomes of stem cells in invertebrates and vertebrates have not been compared, and consequently, ancestral regulatory circuits that control stem cell populations remain poorly defined. In this study, we have used data from high-throughput RNA sequencing to compare the transcriptomes of pluripotent adult stem cells from planarians with the transcriptomes of human and mouse pluripotent embryonic stem cells. From a stringently defined set of 4,432 orthologs shared between planarians, mice and humans, we identified 123 conserved genes that are ≥5-fold differentially expressed in stem cells from all three species. Guided by this gene set, we used RNAi screening in adult planarians to discover novel stem cell regulators, which we found to affect the stem cell-associated functions of tissue homeostasis, regeneration, and stem cell maintenance. Examples of genes that disrupted these processes included the orthologs of TBL3, PSD12, TTC27, and RACK1. From these analyses, we concluded that by comparing stem cell transcriptomes from diverse species, it is possible to uncover conserved factors that function in stem cell biology. These results provide insights into which genes comprised the ancestral circuitry underlying the control of stem cell self-renewal and pluripotency. PMID:22696458

  15. Loss of DNA mismatch repair imparts a selective advantage in planarian adult stem cells.

    PubMed

    Hollenbach, Jessica P; Resch, Alissa M; Palakodeti, Dasaradhi; Graveley, Brenton R; Heinen, Christopher D

    2011-01-01

    Lynch syndrome (LS) leads to an increased risk of early-onset colorectal and other types of cancer and is caused by germline mutations in DNA mismatch repair (MMR) genes. Loss of MMR function results in a mutator phenotype that likely underlies its role in tumorigenesis. However, loss of MMR also results in the elimination of a DNA damage-induced checkpoint/apoptosis activation barrier that may allow damaged cells to grow unchecked. A fundamental question is whether loss of MMR provides pre-cancerous stem cells an immediate selective advantage in addition to establishing a mutator phenotype. To test this hypothesis in an in vivo system, we utilized the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea which contains a significant population of identifiable adult stem cells. We identified a planarian homolog of human MSH2, a MMR gene which is mutated in 38% of LS cases. The planarian Smed-msh2 is expressed in stem cells and some progeny. We depleted Smed-msh2 mRNA levels by RNA-interference and found a striking survival advantage in these animals treated with a cytotoxic DNA alkylating agent compared to control animals. We demonstrated that this tolerance to DNA damage is due to the survival of mitotically active, MMR-deficient stem cells. Our results suggest that loss of MMR provides an in vivo survival advantage to the stem cell population in the presence of DNA damage that may have implications for tumorigenesis.

  16. Guarana Provides Additional Stimulation over Caffeine Alone in the Planarian Model

    PubMed Central

    Moustakas, Dimitrios; Mezzio, Michael; Rodriguez, Branden R.; Constable, Mic Andre; Mulligan, Margaret E.; Voura, Evelyn B.

    2015-01-01

    The stimulant effect of energy drinks is primarily attributed to the caffeine they contain. Many energy drinks also contain other ingredients that might enhance the tonic effects of these caffeinated beverages. One of these additives is guarana. Guarana is a climbing plant native to the Amazon whose seeds contain approximately four times the amount of caffeine found in coffee beans. The mix of other natural chemicals contained in guarana seeds is thought to heighten the stimulant effects of guarana over caffeine alone. Yet, despite the growing use of guarana as an additive in energy drinks, and a burgeoning market for it as a nutritional supplement, the science examining guarana and how it affects other dietary ingredients is lacking. To appreciate the stimulant effects of guarana and other natural products, a straightforward model to investigate their physiological properties is needed. The planarian provides such a system. The locomotor activity and convulsive response of planarians with substance exposure has been shown to provide an excellent system to measure the effects of drug stimulation, addiction and withdrawal. To gauge the stimulant effects of guarana we studied how it altered the locomotor activity of the planarian species Dugesia tigrina. We report evidence that guarana seeds provide additional stimulation over caffeine alone, and document the changes to this stimulation in the context of both caffeine and glucose. PMID:25880065

  17. Egr-5 is a post-mitotic regulator of planarian epidermal differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Tu, Kimberly C; Cheng, Li-Chun; TK Vu, Hanh; Lange, Jeffrey J; McKinney, Sean A; Seidel, Chris W; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro

    2015-01-01

    Neoblasts are an abundant, heterogeneous population of adult stem cells (ASCs) that facilitate the maintenance of planarian tissues and organs, providing a powerful system to study ASC self-renewal and differentiation dynamics. It is unknown how the collective output of neoblasts transit through differentiation pathways to produce specific cell types. The planarian epidermis is a simple tissue that undergoes rapid turnover. We found that as epidermal progeny differentiate, they progress through multiple spatiotemporal transition states with distinct gene expression profiles. We also identified a conserved early growth response family transcription factor, egr-5, that is essential for epidermal differentiation. Disruption of epidermal integrity by egr-5 RNAi triggers a global stress response that induces the proliferation of neoblasts and the concomitant expansion of not only epidermal, but also multiple progenitor cell populations. Our results further establish the planarian epidermis as a novel paradigm to uncover the molecular mechanisms regulating ASC specification in vivo. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.10501.001 PMID:26457503

  18. Tryptophan hydroxylase Is Required for Eye Melanogenesis in the Planarian Schmidtea mediterranea

    PubMed Central

    Lambrus, Bramwell G.; Cochet-Escartin, Olivier; Gao, Jiarong; Newmark, Phillip A.; Collins, Eva-Maria S.; Collins, James J.

    2015-01-01

    Melanins are ubiquitous and biologically important pigments, yet the molecular mechanisms that regulate their synthesis and biochemical composition are not fully understood. Here we present a study that supports a role for serotonin in melanin synthesis in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. We characterize the tryptophan hydroxylase (tph) gene, which encodes the rate-limiting enzyme in serotonin synthesis, and demonstrate by RNA interference that tph is essential for melanin production in the pigment cups of the planarian photoreceptors. We exploit this phenotype to investigate the biological function of pigment cups using a quantitative light-avoidance behavioral assay. Planarians lacking eye pigment remain phototactic, indicating that eye pigmentation is not essential for light avoidance in S. mediterranea, though it improves the efficiency of the photophobic response. Finally, we show that the eye pigmentation defect observed in tph knockdown animals can be rescued by injection of either the product of TPH, 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), or serotonin. Together, these results highlight a role for serotonin in melanogenesis, perhaps as a regulatory signal or as a pigment substrate. To our knowledge, this is the first example of this relationship to be reported outside of mammalian systems. PMID:26017970

  19. A comparative transcriptomic analysis reveals conserved features of stem cell pluripotency in planarians and mammals.

    PubMed

    Labbé, Roselyne M; Irimia, Manuel; Currie, Ko W; Lin, Alexander; Zhu, Shu Jun; Brown, David D R; Ross, Eric J; Voisin, Veronique; Bader, Gary D; Blencowe, Benjamin J; Pearson, Bret J

    2012-08-01

    Many long-lived species of animals require the function of adult stem cells throughout their lives. However, the transcriptomes of stem cells in invertebrates and vertebrates have not been compared, and consequently, ancestral regulatory circuits that control stem cell populations remain poorly defined. In this study, we have used data from high-throughput RNA sequencing to compare the transcriptomes of pluripotent adult stem cells from planarians with the transcriptomes of human and mouse pluripotent embryonic stem cells. From a stringently defined set of 4,432 orthologs shared between planarians, mice and humans, we identified 123 conserved genes that are ≥5-fold differentially expressed in stem cells from all three species. Guided by this gene set, we used RNAi screening in adult planarians to discover novel stem cell regulators, which we found to affect the stem cell-associated functions of tissue homeostasis, regeneration, and stem cell maintenance. Examples of genes that disrupted these processes included the orthologs of TBL3, PSD12, TTC27, and RACK1. From these analyses, we concluded that by comparing stem cell transcriptomes from diverse species, it is possible to uncover conserved factors that function in stem cell biology. These results provide insights into which genes comprised the ancestral circuitry underlying the control of stem cell self-renewal and pluripotency.

  20. PIWI homologs mediate Histone H4 mRNA localization to planarian chromatoid bodies

    PubMed Central

    Rouhana, Labib; Weiss, Jennifer A.; King, Ryan S.; Newmark, Phillip A.

    2014-01-01

    The well-known regenerative abilities of planarian flatworms are attributed to a population of adult stem cells called neoblasts that proliferate and differentiate to produce all cell types. A characteristic feature of neoblasts is the presence of large cytoplasmic ribonucleoprotein granules named chromatoid bodies, the function of which has remained largely elusive. This study shows that histone mRNAs are a common component of chromatoid bodies. Our experiments also demonstrate that accumulation of histone mRNAs, which is typically restricted to the S phase of eukaryotic cells, is extended during the cell cycle of neoblasts. The planarian PIWI homologs SMEDWI-1 and SMEDWI-3 are required for proper localization of germinal histone H4 (gH4) mRNA to chromatoid bodies. The association between histone mRNA and chromatoid body components extends beyond gH4 mRNA, since transcripts of other core histone genes were also found in these structures. Additionally, piRNAs corresponding to loci of every core histone type have been identified. Altogether, this work provides evidence that links PIWI proteins and chromatoid bodies to histone mRNA regulation in planarian stem cells. The molecular similarities between neoblasts and undifferentiated cells of other organisms raise the possibility that PIWI proteins might also regulate histone mRNAs in stem cells and germ cells of other metazoans. PMID:24903754

  1. The use of planarians as in vivo animal model to study laser biomodulation effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Munin, Egberto; Garcia, Neila Maria Rocha; Braz, Allison Gustavo; de Souza, Sandra Cristina; Alves, Leandro Procópio; Salgado, Miguel Angel Castillo; Pilla, Viviane

    2007-02-01

    A variety of effects is attributed to the photo stimulation of tissues, such as improved healing of ulcers, analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects, stimulation of the proliferation of cells of different origins and stimulation of bone repair. Some investigations that make qualitative evaluations, like wound healing and evaluation of pain and edema, can be conducted in human subjects. However, deeper investigations on the mechanisms of action of the light stimulus and other quantitative works that requires biopsies or destructive analysis has to be carried out in animal models or in cell cultures. In this work, we propose the use of planarians as a model to study laser-tissue interaction. Contrasting with cell cultures and unicellular organisms, planarians are among the simplest organism having tissue layers, central nerve system, digestive and excretory system that might have been platforms for the evolution of the complex and highly organized tissues and organs found in higher organisms. For the present study, 685 nm laser radiation was employed. Planarians were cut transversally, in a plane posterior to the auricles. The body fragments were left to regenerate and the proliferation dynamics of stem cells was studied by using histological analysis. Maximum cell count was obtained for the laser treated group at the 4 th experimental day. At that experimental time, we also had the largest difference between the irradiated and the non-irradiated control group. We concluded that the studied flatworm could be an interesting animal model for in vivo studies of laser-tissue interactions.

  2. Synergistic interactions between temporal coupling of complex light and magnetic pulses upon melanoma cell proliferation and planarian regeneration.

    PubMed

    Murugan, Nirosha J; Karbowski, Lukasz M; Persinger, Michael A

    2017-01-01

    Synergisms between a physiologically patterned magnetic field that is known to enhance planarian growth and suppress proliferation of malignant cells in culture and three light emitting diode (LED) generated visible wavelengths (blue, green, red) upon planarian regeneration and melanoma cell numbers were discerned. Five days of hourly exposures to either a physiologically patterned (2.5-5.0 μT) magnetic field, one of three wavelengths (3 kLux) or both treatments simultaneously indicated that red light (680 nm), blue light (470 nm) or the magnetic field significantly facilitated regeneration of planarian compared to sham field exposed planarian. Presentation of both light and magnetic field conditions enhanced the effect. Whereas the blue and red light diminished the growth of malignant (melanoma) cells, the effect was not as large as that produced by the magnetic field. Only the paired presentation of the blue light and magnetic field enhanced the suppression. On the other hand, the changes following green light (540 nm) exposure did not differ from the control condition and green light presented with the magnetic field eliminated its effects for both the planarian and melanoma cells. These results indicate specific colors affect positive adaptation that is similar to weak, physiologically patterned frequency modulated (8-24 Hz) magnetic fields and that the two forms of energy can synergistically summate or cancel.

  3. An automated training paradigm reveals long-term memory in planarians and its persistence through head regeneration.

    PubMed

    Shomrat, Tal; Levin, Michael

    2013-10-15

    Planarian flatworms are a popular system for research into the molecular mechanisms that enable these complex organisms to regenerate their entire body, including the brain. Classical data suggest that they may also be capable of long-term memory. Thus, the planarian system may offer the unique opportunity to study brain regeneration and memory in the same animal. To establish a system for the investigation of the dynamics of memory in a regenerating brain, we developed a computerized training and testing paradigm that avoided the many issues that confounded previous, manual attempts to train planarians. We then used this new system to train flatworms in an environmental familiarization protocol. We show that worms exhibit environmental familiarization, and that this memory persists for at least 14 days - long enough for the brain to regenerate. We further show that trained, decapitated planarians exhibit evidence of memory retrieval in a savings paradigm after regenerating a new head. Our work establishes a foundation for objective, high-throughput assays in this molecularly tractable model system that will shed light on the fundamental interface between body patterning and stored memories. We propose planarians as key emerging model species for mechanistic investigations of the encoding of specific memories in biological tissues. Moreover, this system is lik ely to have important implications for the biomedicine of stem-cell-derived treatments of degenerative brain disorders in human adults.

  4. Smed-dynA-1 is a planarian nervous system specific dynamin 1 homolog required for normal locomotion.

    PubMed

    Talbot, Jared A; Currie, Ko W; Pearson, Bret J; Collins, Eva-Maria S

    2014-06-20

    Dynamins are GTPases that are required for separation of vesicles from the plasma membrane and thus are key regulators of endocytosis in eukaryotic cells. This role for dynamin proteins is especially crucial for the proper function of neurons, where they ensure that synaptic vesicles and their neurotransmitter cargo are recycled in the presynaptic cell. Here we have characterized the dynamin protein family in the freshwater planarian Schmidtea mediterranea and showed that it possesses six dynamins with tissue specific expression profiles. Of these six planarian homologs, two are necessary for normal tissue homeostasis, and the loss of another, Smed-dynA-1, leads to an abnormal behavioral phenotype, which we have quantified using automated center of mass tracking. Smed-dynA-1 is primarily expressed in the planarian nervous system and is a functional homolog of the mammalian Dynamin I. The distinct expression profiles of the six dynamin genes makes planarians an interesting new system to reveal novel dynamin functions, which may be determined by their differential tissue localization. The observed complexity of neurotransmitter regulation combined with the tools of quantitative behavioral assays as a functional readout for neuronal activity, renders planarians an ideal system for studying how the nervous system controls behavior.

  5. Smed-Evi/Wntless is required for beta-catenin-dependent and -independent processes during planarian regeneration.

    PubMed

    Adell, Teresa; Salò, Emili; Boutros, Michael; Bartscherer, Kerstin

    2009-03-01

    Planarians can regenerate a whole animal from only a small piece of their body, and have become an important model for stem cell biology. To identify regenerative processes dependent on Wnt growth factors in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea (Smed), we analyzed RNAi phenotypes of Evi, a transmembrane protein specifically required for the secretion of Wnt ligands. We show that, during regeneration, Smed-evi loss-of-function prevents posterior identity, leading to two-headed planarians that resemble Smed-beta-catenin1 RNAi animals. In addition, we observe regeneration defects of the nervous system that are not found after Smed-beta-catenin1 RNAi. By systematic knockdown of all putative Smed Wnts in regenerating planarians, we identify Smed-WntP-1 and Smed-Wnt11-2 as the putative posterior organizers, and demonstrate that Smed-Wnt5 is a regulator of neuronal organization and growth. Thus, our study provides evidence that planarian Wnts are major regulators of regeneration, and that they signal through beta-catenin-dependent and -independent pathways.

  6. Early planarian brain regeneration is independent of blastema polarity mediated by the Wnt/β-catenin pathway.

    PubMed

    Iglesias, Marta; Almuedo-Castillo, Maria; Aboobaker, A Aziz; Saló, Emili

    2011-10-01

    Analysis of anteroposterior (AP) axis specification in regenerating planarian flatworms has shown that Wnt/β-catenin signaling is required for posterior specification and that the FGF-like receptor molecule nou-darake (ndk) may be involved in restricting brain regeneration to anterior regions. The relationship between re-establishment of AP identity and correct morphogenesis of the brain is, however, still poorly understood. Here we report the characterization of two axin paralogs in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. Although Axins are well known negative regulators of Wnt/β-catenin signaling, no role in AP specification has previously been reported for axin genes in planarians. We show that silencing of Smed-axin genes by RNA interference (RNAi) results in two-tailed planarians, a phenotype previously reported after silencing of Smed-APC-1, another β-catenin inhibitor. More strikingly, we show for the first time that while early brain formation at anterior wounds remains unaffected, subsequent development of the brain is blocked in the two-tailed planarians generated after silencing of Smed-axin genes and Smed-APC-1. These findings suggest that the mechanisms underlying early brain formation can be uncoupled from the specification of AP identity by the Wnt/β-catenin pathway. Finally, the posterior expansion of the brain observed following Smed-ndk RNAi is enhanced by silencing Smed-APC-1, revealing an indirect relationship between the FGFR/Ndk and Wnt/β-catenin signaling systems in establishing the posterior limits of brain differentiation.

  7. Spoltud-1 is a chromatoid body component required for planarian long-term stem cell self-renewal.

    PubMed

    Solana, Jordi; Lasko, Paul; Romero, Rafael

    2009-04-15

    Freshwater planarians exhibit a striking power of regeneration, based on a population of undifferentiated totipotent stem cells, called neoblasts. These somatic stem cells have several characteristics resembling those of germ line stem cells in other animals, such as the presence of perinuclear RNA granules (chromatoid bodies). We have isolated a Tudor domain-containing gene in the planarian species Schmidtea polychroa, Spoltud-1, and show that it is expressed in neoblast cells, germ line cells and central nervous system, and during embryonic development. Within the neoblasts, Spoltud-1 protein is enriched in chromatoid bodies. Spoltud-1 RNAi eliminates protein expression after 3 weeks, and abolishes the power of regeneration of planarians after 7 weeks. Neoblast cells are eliminated by the RNAi treatment, disappearing at the end rather than gradually during the process. Neoblasts with no detectable Spoltud-1 protein are able to proliferate and differentiate. These results suggest that Spoltud-1 is required for long term stem cell self renewal.

  8. Conserved functional antagonism of CELF and MBNL proteins controls stem cell-specific alternative splicing in planarians.

    PubMed

    Solana, Jordi; Irimia, Manuel; Ayoub, Salah; Orejuela, Marta Rodriguez; Zywitza, Vera; Jens, Marvin; Tapial, Javier; Ray, Debashish; Morris, Quaid; Hughes, Timothy R; Blencowe, Benjamin J; Rajewsky, Nikolaus

    2016-08-09

    In contrast to transcriptional regulation, the function of alternative splicing (AS) in stem cells is poorly understood. In mammals, MBNL proteins negatively regulate an exon program specific of embryonic stem cells; however, little is known about the in vivo significance of this regulation. We studied AS in a powerful in vivo model for stem cell biology, the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. We discover a conserved AS program comprising hundreds of alternative exons, microexons and introns that is differentially regulated in planarian stem cells, and comprehensively identify its regulators. We show that functional antagonism between CELF and MBNL factors directly controls stem cell-specific AS in planarians, placing the origin of this regulatory mechanism at the base of Bilaterians. Knockdown of CELF or MBNL factors lead to abnormal regenerative capacities by affecting self-renewal and differentiation sets of genes, respectively. These results highlight the importance of AS interactions in stem cell regulation across metazoans.

  9. [A role of some intracellular signaling cascades in planarian regeneration activated under irradiation with low-temperature argon plasma].

    PubMed

    Ermakov, A M; Ermakova, O N; Maevskiĭ, E I

    2014-01-01

    Using inhibitory analysis the role of some intracellular signaling pathways in activation of planarian regeneration under the influence of low-temperature argon plasma (LTAP) has been investigated. Inactivation of specific inhibitors of intracellular signaling enzymes such as the receptor tyrosine kinase (EGFR), TGF β receptor, calmodulin, adenylate cyclase, phospholipase A2, phospholipase C, cyclin-dependent protein kinase, JAK2-protein kinase, JNK-protein kinase MEK-protein kinase led to inhibition of the head growth during its regeneration in planarians. Pretreatment with LTAP irradiation provided no inhibitory action of some cascades regulating proliferation. However, the inhibitors of the key regulators of regeneration: TGF β receptor, calmodulin and MEK-protein kinase completely suppressed the activating effect of plasma. Thus, by the example of regenerating planarians it is shown, that biological activity of low-temperature argon plasma LTAP is caused by modulation of a plurality of cellular signaling systems.

  10. Planarians: a versatile and powerful model system for molecular studies of regeneration, adult stem cell regulation, aging, and behavior.

    PubMed

    Oviedo, Néstor J; Nicolas, Cindy L; Adams, Dany S; Levin, Michael

    2008-10-01

    INTRODUCTIONIn recent years, planarians have been increasingly recognized as an emerging model organism amenable to molecular genetic techniques aimed at understanding complex biological tasks commonly observed among metazoans. Growing evidence suggests that this model organism is uniquely poised to inform us about the mechanisms of tissue regeneration, stem cell regulation, tissue turnover, pharmacological action of diverse drugs, cancer, and aging. This article provides an overview of the planarian model system with special attention to the species Schmidtea mediterranea. Additionally, information is provided about the most popular use of this organism, together with modern genomic resources and technical approaches.

  11. Space Research Program on Planarian Schmidtea Mediterranea's Establishment of the Anterior-Posterior Axis in Altered Gravity Conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Auletta, G.; Adell, T.; Colagè, I.; D'Ambrosio, P.; Salò, E.

    2012-12-01

    Planarians of the species Schmidtea mediterranea are a well-established model for regeneration studies. In this paper, we first recall the morphological characters and the molecular mechanisms involved in the regeneration process, especially focussing on the Wnt pathway and the establishment of the antero-posterior axial polarity. Then, after an assessment of a space-experiment (run in 2006 on the Russian Segment of the International Space Station) on planarians of the species Girardia tigrina, we present our experimental program to ascertain the effects that altered-gravity conditions may have on regeneration processes in S. mediterrnea at the molecular and genetic level.

  12. An NMDA antagonist (LY 235959) attenuates abstinence-induced withdrawal of planarians following acute exposure to a cannabinoid agonist (WIN 55212-2).

    PubMed

    Rawls, Scott M; Gomez, Teresa; Raffa, Robert B

    2007-03-01

    The mechanisms that facilitate the development and expression of cannabinoid physical dependence in humans and other mammals are poorly understood. The present experiments used a planarian model to provide evidence that pharmacological antagonism of NMDA receptors significantly attenuates the development of cannabinoid physical dependence. Abstinence-induced withdrawal from the cannabinoid agonist WIN 55212-2 (10 microM) was manifested as a significant (P<0.05) decrease in the rate of planarian spontaneous locomotor velocity (pLMV) when WIN 55212-2 (10 microM)-exposed planarians were placed into drug-free water. No change in pLMV occurred when WIN 55212-2 (10 microM)-exposed planarians were placed into water containing WIN 55212-2 (10 microM). WIN 55212-2 (10 microM)-exposed planarians placed into water containing LY 235959 (1 or 10 microM) did not display withdrawal (no significant difference, P>0.05, in pLMV). In addition, withdrawal was not observed (no significant difference, P>0.05, in pLMV) in planarians that were co-exposed to a solution containing WIN 55212-2 (10 microM) and LY 235959 (10 microM). The present results reveal that NMDA receptor activation mediates the development of cannabinoid physical dependence and the expression of cannabinoid withdrawal in planarians.

  13. A dual platform approach to transcript discovery for the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea to establish RNAseq for stem cell and regeneration biology.

    PubMed

    Blythe, Martin J; Kao, Damian; Malla, Sunir; Rowsell, Joanna; Wilson, Ray; Evans, Deborah; Jowett, Jamie; Hall, Amy; Lemay, Virginie; Lam, Sabrina; Aboobaker, A Aziz

    2010-12-14

    The use of planarians as a model system is expanding and the mechanisms that control planarian regeneration are being elucidated. The planarian Schmidtea mediterranea in particular has become a species of choice. Currently the planarian research community has access to this whole genome sequencing project and over 70,000 expressed sequence tags. However, the establishment of massively parallel sequencing technologies has provided the opportunity to define genetic content, and in particular transcriptomes, in unprecedented detail. Here we apply this approach to the planarian model system. We have sequenced, mapped and assembled 581,365 long and 507,719,814 short reads from RNA of intact and mixed stages of the first 7 days of planarian regeneration. We used an iterative mapping approach to identify and define de novo splice sites with short reads and increase confidence in our transcript predictions. We more than double the number of transcripts currently defined by publicly available ESTs, resulting in a collection of 25,053 transcripts described by combining platforms. We also demonstrate the utility of this collection for an RNAseq approach to identify potential transcripts that are enriched in neoblast stem cells and their progeny by comparing transcriptome wide expression levels between irradiated and intact planarians. Our experiments have defined an extensive planarian transcriptome that can be used as a template for RNAseq and can also help to annotate the S. mediterranea genome. We anticipate that suites of other 'omic approaches will also be facilitated by building on this comprehensive data set including RNAseq across many planarian regenerative stages, scenarios, tissues and phenotypes generated by RNAi.

  14. A simple technique for staining of platyhelminths with the lactophnol cotton blue stain.

    PubMed

    Henedi, Adawia A M; El-Azazy, Osama M E

    2013-08-01

    This paper describes a simple technique for staining of flatworms using lactophenol cotton blue (LPCB). The staining was tested on 2 trematode species: Heterophyes heterophyes and Mesostephanus appendiculatus, and one cestode: Diplopylidium acanthotetra, which were collected from the intestine of stray cats in Kuwait. The specimens were mounted in a small amount of the LPCB stain on a clean slide for 2-3 minutes before covering with a cover slip. The technique rapidly and clearly differentiated the internal structures of the helminthes. Its speed and simplicity are advantages over other staining methods. It is easily used in wide-scale surveys where a large number of platyhelminths have to be identified and it is suitable for field studies.

  15. Telomere analysis of platyhelminths and acanthocephalans by FISH and Southern hybridization.

    PubMed

    Bombarová, Marta; Vítková, Magda; Spakulová, Marta; Koubková, Bozena

    2009-11-01

    We examined the composition of telomeres in chromosomes of parasitic worms, representatives of the flatworm groups Monogenea and Cestoda (Platyhelminthes), and thorny-headed worms (Syndermata: Acanthocephala) by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with different telomeric repeat probes. Our results show that the (TTAGGG)n sequence, supposed to be the ancestral telomeric repeat motif of Metazoa, is conserved in Monogenea (Paradiplozoon homoion) and Cestoda (Caryophyllaeus laticeps, Caryophyllaeides fennica, and Nippotaenia mogurndae) but not in Acanthocephala (Pomphorhynchus laevis and Pomphorhynchus tereticollis). In the Pomphorhynchus species, no hybridization signals were obtained with the "nematode" (TTAGGC)n, "arthropod" (TTAGG)n, and bdelloid (TGTGGG)n telomeric probes using FISH with their chromosomes and Southern hybridization with P. laevis DNA. Therefore, we suggest that parasitic Acanthocephala have evolved yet unknown telomeric repeat motifs or different mechanisms of telomere maintenance.

  16. [The influence of Janicki cercomer theory on the development of platyhelminthes systematics and evolution investigations].

    PubMed

    Pojmańska, Teresa

    2005-01-01

    The aim of this article was to present the development of ideas about the provenience of parasitic helminths and the phylogenetical relationships within this taxon, since the publication of the "cercomer theory" just to nowadays. The following essentials of the Janicki theory are outlined: main differences between free-living Turbellaria and parasitic platyhelminths (ciliated epithelium in Turbellaria versus unciliated surface in the others); universality of the cercomer presence in Monogenea, Digenea and Cestoda; evolutionary changes in the morphology and function of the cercomer; homology of the caudal appendices of all parasitic helminths; the subsequent evolution of parasitic platyhelminthes from the ancestor to Monogena, Digenea and Cestoda; proposition to establish a new common taxon--Cercomerophora--for these three groups. In this background the evolution of evolutionary ideas is reviewed, divided into two periods: up to the eighties of the XX century, and up to date. The first period can be characterised by the criticism of some points of the "cercomer theory" and formulation of some new hypotheses; these are those of Fuhrmann, Bychovsky, Llewellyn, Price and Malmberg, which: questioned the homology of the cercarial tail with the caudal appendices of Monogenea and Cestoda; rejected Digenea from the common group; established the common taxon--Cercomeromorpha--comprising only Monogenea and Cestoda; opposed the idea of radial evolution of three main groups of Platyhelmithes (Turbellaria, Digenea and Cercomeromorpha) to the idea of subsequent evolution presented by Janicki. The differences between these last hypotheses are also underlined, arising mainly from the different ideas on the importance of particular features as the evolutionary indicators of affinities between and within the taxons. As to the hypotheses dealing with the evolution of particular groups of parasitic platyhelminths formulated at the same period, the publications of Freeman and Jarecka

  17. New species of Gieysztoria (Platyhelminthes, Rhabdocoela) from Peruvian Amazon floodplain with description of their stylet ultrastructure.

    PubMed

    Damborenea, Cristina; Brusa, Francisco; Noreña, Carolina

    2005-12-01

    The free-living Platyhelminthes of the Amazon basin are poorly known. Presently only four turbellarian species have been mentioned from the Amazon river, a fact that confirms the lack of information on this kind of faunas in this huge basin. Three new species of Gieysztoria from Amazonian floodplain in Peru are described herein: G. chiqchi n. sp., G. kasasapa n. sp. and G. sasa n. sp. The samples were taken in the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve (Peru) during September 2002. Besides the usual description of the stylet based on whole mounted specimens, we provide a complementary description using SEM, which allowed differentiation of the new species within the currently yet imperfect picture of the Amazonian turbellarian fauna. Although further research is desired, current findings are suggestive of high diversity of free-living Turbellaria in the surveyed region.

  18. [Study of possible involvement of MEK mitogen-activated protein kinase and TGF-β receptor in planarian regeneration processes using pharmacological inhibition analysis].

    PubMed

    Ermakov, A M; Ermakova, O N; Ermolaeva, S A

    2014-01-01

    Possible involvement of MEK mitogen-activated protein kinase and TGF-β receptor in the processes of regeneration and morphogenesis in freshwater planarian flatworms Schmidtea mediterranea was studied using a pharmacological inhibitor analysis. It was found that pharmacological inhibitors of these kinases significantly inhibit the regeneration of the head end of the animals and that this effect is realized due to inhibition of proliferative activity of neoblasts, planarian stem cells. It is shown that that the inhibition of the studied protein kinases in regenerating planarians markedly disturbs stem cell differentiation and morphogenesis.

  19. Planarian D-amino acid oxidase is involved in ovarian development during sexual induction.

    PubMed

    Maezawa, Takanobu; Tanaka, Hiroyuki; Nakagawa, Haruka; Ono, Mizuki; Aoki, Manabu; Matsumoto, Midori; Ishida, Tetsuo; Horiike, Kihachiro; Kobayashi, Kazuya

    2014-05-01

    To elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying switching from asexual to sexual reproduction, namely sexual induction, we developed an assay system for sexual induction in the hermaphroditic planarian species Dugesia ryukyuensis. Ovarian development is the initial and essential step in sexual induction, and it is followed by the formation of other reproductive organs, including the testes. Here, we report a function of a planarian D-amino acid oxidase, Dr-DAO, in the control of ovarian development in planarians. Asexual worms showed significantly more widespread expression of Dr-DAO in the parenchymal space than did sexual worms. Inhibition of Dr-DAO by RNAi caused the formation of immature ovaries. In addition, we found that feeding asexual worms 5 specific D-amino acids could induce the formation of immature ovaries that are similar to those observed in Dr-DAO knockdown worms, suggesting that Dr-DAO inhibits the formation of immature ovaries by degrading these D-amino acids. Following sexual induction, Dr-DAO expression was observed in the ovaries. The knockdown of Dr-DAO during sexual induction delayed the maturation of the other reproductive organs, as well as ovary. These findings suggest that Dr-DAO acts to promote ovarian maturation and that complete sexual induction depends on the production of mature ovaries. We propose that Dr-DAO produced in somatic cells prevents the onset of sexual induction in the asexual state, and then after sexual induction, the female germ cells specifically produce Dr-DAO to induce full maturation. Therefore, Dr-DAO produced in somatic and female germline cells may play different roles in sexual induction.

  20. Inferring regulatory networks from experimental morphological phenotypes: a computational method reverse-engineers planarian regeneration.

    PubMed

    Lobo, Daniel; Levin, Michael

    2015-06-01

    Transformative applications in biomedicine require the discovery of complex regulatory networks that explain the development and regeneration of anatomical structures, and reveal what external signals will trigger desired changes of large-scale pattern. Despite recent advances in bioinformatics, extracting mechanistic pathway models from experimental morphological data is a key open challenge that has resisted automation. The fundamental difficulty of manually predicting emergent behavior of even simple networks has limited the models invented by human scientists to pathway diagrams that show necessary subunit interactions but do not reveal the dynamics that are sufficient for complex, self-regulating pattern to emerge. To finally bridge the gap between high-resolution genetic data and the ability to understand and control patterning, it is critical to develop computational tools to efficiently extract regulatory pathways from the resultant experimental shape phenotypes. For example, planarian regeneration has been studied for over a century, but despite increasing insight into the pathways that control its stem cells, no constructive, mechanistic model has yet been found by human scientists that explains more than one or two key features of its remarkable ability to regenerate its correct anatomical pattern after drastic perturbations. We present a method to infer the molecular products, topology, and spatial and temporal non-linear dynamics of regulatory networks recapitulating in silico the rich dataset of morphological phenotypes resulting from genetic, surgical, and pharmacological experiments. We demonstrated our approach by inferring complete regulatory networks explaining the outcomes of the main functional regeneration experiments in the planarian literature; By analyzing all the datasets together, our system inferred the first systems-biology comprehensive dynamical model explaining patterning in planarian regeneration. This method provides an automated

  1. Silencing of Smed-betacatenin1 generates radial-like hypercephalized planarians.

    PubMed

    Iglesias, Marta; Gomez-Skarmeta, Jose Luis; Saló, Emili; Adell, Teresa

    2008-04-01

    Little is known about the molecular mechanisms responsible for axis establishment during non-embryonic processes such as regeneration and homeostasis. To address this issue, we set out to analyze the role of the canonical Wnt pathway in planarians, flatworms renowned for their extraordinary morphological plasticity. Canonical Wnt signalling is an evolutionarily conserved mechanism to confer polarity during embryonic development, specifying the anteroposterior (AP) axis in most bilaterians and the dorsoventral (DV) axis in early vertebrate embryos. beta-Catenin is a key element in this pathway, although it is a bifunctional protein that is also involved in cell-cell adhesion. Here, we report the characterization of two beta-catenin homologs from Schmidtea mediterranea (Smed-betacatenin1/2). Loss of function of Smed-betacatenin1, but not Smed-betacatenin2, in both regenerating and intact planarians, generates radial-like hypercephalized planarians in which the AP axis disappears but the DV axis remains unaffected, representing a unique example of a striking body symmetry transformation. The radial-like hypercephalized phenotype demonstrates the requirement for Smed-betacatenin1 in AP axis re-establishment and maintenance, and supports a conserved role for canonical Wnt signalling in AP axis specification, whereas the role of beta-catenin in DV axis establishment would be a vertebrate innovation. When considered alongside the protein domains present in each S. mediterranea beta-catenin and the results of functional assays in Xenopus embryos demonstrating nuclear accumulation and axis induction with Smed-betacatenin1, but not Smed-betacatenin2, these data suggest that S. mediterranea beta-catenins could be functionally specialized and that only Smed-betacatenin1 is involved in Wnt signalling.

  2. Inferring Regulatory Networks from Experimental Morphological Phenotypes: A Computational Method Reverse-Engineers Planarian Regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Lobo, Daniel; Levin, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Transformative applications in biomedicine require the discovery of complex regulatory networks that explain the development and regeneration of anatomical structures, and reveal what external signals will trigger desired changes of large-scale pattern. Despite recent advances in bioinformatics, extracting mechanistic pathway models from experimental morphological data is a key open challenge that has resisted automation. The fundamental difficulty of manually predicting emergent behavior of even simple networks has limited the models invented by human scientists to pathway diagrams that show necessary subunit interactions but do not reveal the dynamics that are sufficient for complex, self-regulating pattern to emerge. To finally bridge the gap between high-resolution genetic data and the ability to understand and control patterning, it is critical to develop computational tools to efficiently extract regulatory pathways from the resultant experimental shape phenotypes. For example, planarian regeneration has been studied for over a century, but despite increasing insight into the pathways that control its stem cells, no constructive, mechanistic model has yet been found by human scientists that explains more than one or two key features of its remarkable ability to regenerate its correct anatomical pattern after drastic perturbations. We present a method to infer the molecular products, topology, and spatial and temporal non-linear dynamics of regulatory networks recapitulating in silico the rich dataset of morphological phenotypes resulting from genetic, surgical, and pharmacological experiments. We demonstrated our approach by inferring complete regulatory networks explaining the outcomes of the main functional regeneration experiments in the planarian literature; By analyzing all the datasets together, our system inferred the first systems-biology comprehensive dynamical model explaining patterning in planarian regeneration. This method provides an automated

  3. Phylogenetic distribution of microRNAs supports the basal position of acoel flatworms and the polyphyly of Platyhelminthes.

    PubMed

    Sempere, Lorenzo F; Martinez, Pedro; Cole, Charles; Baguñà, Jaume; Peterson, Kevin J

    2007-01-01

    Phylogenetic analyses based on gene sequences suggest that acoel flatworms are not members of the phylum Platyhelminthes, but instead are the most basal branch of triploblastic bilaterians. Nonetheless, this result has been called into question. An alternative test is to use qualitative molecular markers that should, in principle, exclude the possibility of convergent (homoplastic) evolution in unrelated groups. microRNAs (miRNAs), noncoding regulatory RNA molecules that are under intense stabilizing selection, are a newly discovered set of phylogenetic markers that can resolve such taxonomic disputes. The acoel Childia sp. has recently been shown to possess a subset of the conserved core of miRNAs found across deuterostomes and protostomes, whereas a polyclad flatworm-in addition to this core subset-possesses miRNAs restricted to just protostomes. Here, we examine another acoel, Symsagittifera roscoffensis, and three other platyhelminths. Our results show that the distribution of miRNAs in S. roscoffensis parallels that of Childia. In addition, two of 13 new miRNAs cloned from a triclad flatworm are also found in other lophotrochozoan protostomes, but not in ecdysozoans, deuterostomes, or in basal metazoans including acoels. The limited set of miRNAs found in acoels, intermediate between the even more reduced set in cnidarians and the larger and expanding set in the rest of bilaterians, is compelling evidence for the basal position of acoel flatworms and the polyphyly of Platyhelminthes.

  4. [Seasonal differences in the regeneration of planarians subjected to long-term electromagnetic shielding].

    PubMed

    Temur'iants, N A; Demtsun, N A

    2010-01-01

    It has been found that the regeneration of planarians is most intensive in summer and least intensive in winter. In spring and autumn, the index of regeneration and the velocity of movement are higher than in winter but lower than in summer. Long-term electromagnetic shielding modifies the intensity of regenerative processes, and this effect is season-dependent. The stimulation is most clearly pronounced in winter and least pronounced in sommer and decreases with increasing duration of shielding. In spring, only a tendency to the stimulation of regeration is observed, which increases with the length of the observation period.

  5. Size Matters!. Birth Size and a Size-Independent Stochastic Term Determine Asexual Reproduction Dynamics in Freshwater Planarians

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, Michael A.; Quinodoz, Sofia; Schötz, Eva-Maria

    2012-09-01

    Asexual reproduction by division in higher organisms is rare, because a prerequisite is the ability to regenerate an entire organism from a piece of the original body. Freshwater planarians are one of the few animals that can reproduce this way, but little is known about the regulation of their reproduction cycles or strategies. We have previously shown that a planarian's reproduction strategy is randomized to include fragmentations, producing multiple offspring, as well as binary fissions, and can be partially explained by a maximum relative entropy principle. In this study we attempt to decompose the factors controlling their reproduction cycle. Based on recent studies on the cell cycle of budding yeast, which suggest that molecular noise in gene expression and cell size at birth together control cell cycle variability, we investigated whether the variability in planarian reproduction waiting times could be similarly regulated. We find that such a model can indeed explain the observed distribution of waiting times between birth and next reproductive event, suggesting that birth size and a stochastic noise term govern the reproduction dynamics of asexual planarians.

  6. Planarian yorkie/YAP functions to integrate adult stem cell proliferation, organ homeostasis and maintenance of axial patterning.

    PubMed

    Lin, Alexander Y T; Pearson, Bret J

    2014-03-01

    During adult homeostasis and regeneration, the freshwater planarian must accomplish a constant balance between cell proliferation and cell death, while also maintaining proper tissue and organ size and patterning. How these ordered processes are precisely modulated remains relatively unknown. Here we show that planarians use the downstream effector of the Hippo signaling cascade, yorkie (yki; YAP in vertebrates) to control a diverse set of pleiotropic processes in organ homeostasis, stem cell regulation, regeneration and axial patterning. We show that yki functions to maintain the homeostasis of the planarian excretory (protonephridial) system and to limit stem cell proliferation, but does not affect the differentiation process or cell death. Finally, we show that Yki acts synergistically with WNT/β-catenin signaling to repress head determination by limiting the expression domains of posterior WNT genes and that of the WNT-inhibitor notum. Together, our data show that yki is a key gene in planarians that integrates stem cell proliferation control, organ homeostasis, and the spatial patterning of tissues.

  7. Β-catenin-dependent control of positional information along the AP body axis in planarians involves a teashirt family member.

    PubMed

    Reuter, Hanna; März, Martin; Vogg, Matthias C; Eccles, David; Grífol-Boldú, Laura; Wehner, Daniel; Owlarn, Suthira; Adell, Teresa; Weidinger, Gilbert; Bartscherer, Kerstin

    2015-01-13

    Wnt/β-catenin signaling regulates tissue homeostasis and regeneration in metazoans. In planarians-flatworms with high regenerative potential-Wnt ligands are thought to control tissue polarity by shaping a β-catenin activity gradient along the anterior-posterior axis, yet the downstream mechanisms are poorly understood. We performed an RNA sequencing (RNA-seq)-based screen and identified hundreds of β-catenin-dependent transcripts, of which several were expressed in muscle tissue and stem cells in a graded fashion. In particular, a teashirt (tsh) ortholog was induced in a β-catenin-dependent manner during regeneration in planarians and zebrafish, and RNAi resulted in two-headed planarians. Strikingly, intact planarians depleted of tsh induced anterior markers and slowly transformed their tail into a head, reminiscent of β-catenin RNAi phenotypes. Given that β-catenin RNAi enhanced the formation of muscle cells expressing anterior determinants in tail regions, our study suggests that this pathway controls tissue polarity through regulating the identity of differentiating cells during homeostasis and regeneration.

  8. Planarians maintain a constant ratio of different cell types during changes in body size by using the stem cell system.

    PubMed

    Takeda, Hiroyuki; Nishimura, Kaneyasu; Agata, Kiyokazu

    2009-12-01

    Planarians change in body size depending upon whether they are in feeding or starving conditions. To investigate how planarians regulate this flexible system, the numbers of total cells and specific cell types were counted and compared among worms 2 mm to 9 mm in body length. The total cell number increased linearly with increasing body length, but the ratio of cell numbers between the head and the trunk portion was constant (1:3). Interestingly, counting the numbers of specific neurons in the eye and brain after immunostaining using cell type-specific antibodies revealed that the ratio between different neuron types was constant regardless of the brain and body size. These results suggest that planarians can maintain proportionality while changing their body size by maintaining a constant ratio of different cell types. To understand this system and reveal how planarians restore the original ratio during eye and brain regeneration, the numbers of specialized cells were Investigated during regeneration. The results further substantiate the existence of some form of "counting mechanism" that has the ability to regulate both the absolute and relative numbers of different cell types in complex organs such as the brain during cell turnover, starvation, and regeneration.

  9. The BMP pathway is essential for re-specification and maintenance of the dorsoventral axis in regenerating and intact planarians.

    PubMed

    Molina, M Dolores; Saló, Emili; Cebrià, Francesc

    2007-11-01

    The bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) pathway has been shown to play an important role in the establishment of the dorsoventral axis during development in both vertebrate and invertebrate species. In an attempt to unravel the role of BMPs in pattern formation during planarian regeneration, we studied this signaling pathway in Schmidtea mediterranea. Here, we functionally characterize planarian homologues of two key elements of the pathway: Smed-BMP and Smed-Smad1. Whole-mount in situ hybridization showed that Smed-BMP is expressed at the planarian dorsal midline, suggesting a role in dorsoventral patterning, while Smed-Smad1 is widely expressed throughout the mesenchyme and in the central nervous system. RNA interference (RNAi) knockdowns of Smed-BMP or Smed-Smad1 led to the disappearance of dorsal markers along with the ectopic expression of ventral markers on the dorsal side of the treated animals. In almost all cases, a duplicated central nervous system differentiated dorsally after Smed-BMP or Smed-Smad1 RNAi. These defects were observed not only during regeneration but also in intact non-regenerating animals. Our results suggest that the BMP signaling pathway is conserved in planarians and that it plays a key role in the regeneration and maintenance of the dorsoventral axis.

  10. Genetic regulators of a pluripotent adult stem cell system in planarians identified by RNAi and clonal analysis.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Daniel E; Ho, Jaclyn J; Reddien, Peter W

    2012-03-02

    Pluripotency is a central, well-studied feature of embryonic development, but the role of pluripotent cell regulation in somatic tissue regeneration remains poorly understood. In planarians, regeneration of entire animals from tissue fragments is promoted by the activity of adult pluripotent stem cells (cNeoblasts). We utilized transcriptional profiling to identify planarian genes expressed in adult proliferating, regenerative cells (neoblasts). We also developed quantitative clonal analysis methods for expansion and differentiation of cNeoblast descendants that, together with RNAi, revealed gene roles in stem cell biology. Genes encoding two zinc finger proteins, Vasa, a LIM domain protein, Sox and Jun-like transcription factors, two candidate RNA-binding proteins, a Setd8-like protein, and PRC2 (Polycomb) were required for proliferative expansion and/or differentiation of cNeoblast-derived clones. These findings suggest that planarian stem cells utilize molecular mechanisms found in germ cells and other pluripotent cell types and identify genetic regulators of the planarian stem cell system.

  11. NF-YB Regulates Spermatogonial Stem Cell Self-Renewal and Proliferation in the Planarian Schmidtea mediterranea

    PubMed Central

    Iyer, Harini; Collins, James J.; Newmark, Phillip A.

    2016-01-01

    Gametes are the source and carrier of genetic information, essential for the propagation of all sexually reproducing organisms. Male gametes are derived from a progenitor stem cell population called spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs). SSCs give rise to male gametes through the coordination of two essential processes: self-renewal to produce more SSCs, and differentiation to produce mature sperm. Disruption of this equilibrium can lead to excessive proliferation of SSCs, causing tumorigenesis, or can result in aberrant differentiation, leading to infertility. Little is known about how SSCs achieve the fine balance between self-renewal and differentiation, which is necessary for their remarkable output and developmental potential. To understand the mechanisms of SSC maintenance, we examine the planarian homolog of Nuclear Factor Y-B (NF-YB), which is required for the maintenance of early planarian male germ cells. Here, we demonstrate that NF-YB plays a role in the self-renewal and proliferation of planarian SSCs, but not in their specification or differentiation. Furthermore, we characterize members of the NF-Y complex in Schistosoma mansoni, a parasitic flatworm related to the free-living planarian. We find that the function of NF-YB in regulating male germ cell proliferation is conserved in schistosomes. This finding is especially significant because fecundity is the cause of pathogenesis of S. mansoni. Our findings can help elucidate the complex relationship between self-renewal and differentiation of SSCs, and may also have implications for understanding and controlling schistosomiasis. PMID:27304889

  12. Analysis of Stem Cell Motility In Vivo Based on Immunodetection of Planarian Neoblasts and Tracing of BrdU-Labeled Cells After Partial Irradiation.

    PubMed

    Tasaki, Junichi; Uchiyama-Tasaki, Chihiro; Rouhana, Labib

    2016-01-01

    Planarian flatworms have become an important system for the study of stem cell behavior and regulation in vivo. These organisms are able to regenerate any part of their body upon damage or amputation. A crucial cellular event in the process of planarian regeneration is the migration of pluripotent stem cells (known as neoblasts) to the site of injury. Here we describe two approaches for analyzing migration of planarian stem cells to an area where these have been ablated by localized X-ray irradiation. The first approach involves immunolabeling of mitotic neoblasts, while the second is based on tracing stem cells and their progeny after BrdU incorporation. The use of planarians in studies of cell motility is suitable for the identification of factors that influence stem cell migration in vivo and is amenable to RNA interference or pharmacological screening.

  13. The freshwater planarian Polycelis felina as a sensitive species to assess the long-term toxicity of ammonia.

    PubMed

    Alonso, Alvaro; Camargo, Julio A

    2011-07-01

    Behavioural endpoints are a good link between physiological and ecological effects. However long-term behavioural endpoints are not uniformly studied over all different organism groups. For example behaviour has been scarcely studied in planarians. Unionized ammonia (NH(3)) is one of the most widespread pollutants in developed countries, and is known to alter animal behaviour. In this study a long-term (30 d) bioassay was conducted to assess the effect of this pollutant on survival and behavioural activity (e.g. locomotion activity) of the freshwater planarian Polycelis felina. One control and three environmentally-realistic concentrations of unionized ammonia (treatments of 0.02, 0.05, and 0.09 mg N-NH(3) L(-1)) were used in quintuplicate. The behaviour of planarians was measured after 0, 10, 20 and 30 d of ammonia exposure. Mortality was recorded every 2 d. Unionized ammonia increased mortality in the two highest NH(3) concentrations and the locomotory activity was depressed in all treatments after 20 d of exposure. Behavioural effect was observed at concentrations 20 times lower than the short-term LC50 for this species. Previous studies proposed safe concentrations of unionized ammonia of 0.01-0.10 mg N-NH(3) L(-1) to aquatic ecosystems, but our study has shown that these concentrations will affect planarians. Because planarians play a key role in streams (as predator/scavenger), safe concentrations should be below 0.02 mg N-NH(3) L(-1) to protect this species in the freshwater community. Our results can contribute to improve the knowledge about ammonia toxicity to freshwater ecosystems, we recommend that safe concentrations of unionized ammonia should be based on very sensitive species.

  14. COE loss-of-function analysis reveals a genetic program underlying maintenance and regeneration of the nervous system in planarians.

    PubMed

    Cowles, Martis W; Omuro, Kerilyn C; Stanley, Brianna N; Quintanilla, Carlo G; Zayas, Ricardo M

    2014-10-01

    Members of the COE family of transcription factors are required for central nervous system (CNS) development. However, the function of COE in the post-embryonic CNS remains largely unknown. An excellent model for investigating gene function in the adult CNS is the freshwater planarian. This animal is capable of regenerating neurons from an adult pluripotent stem cell population and regaining normal function. We previously showed that planarian coe is expressed in differentiating and mature neurons and that its function is required for proper CNS regeneration. Here, we show that coe is essential to maintain nervous system architecture and patterning in intact (uninjured) planarians. We took advantage of the robust phenotype in intact animals to investigate the genetic programs coe regulates in the CNS. We compared the transcriptional profiles of control and coe RNAi planarians using RNA sequencing and identified approximately 900 differentially expressed genes in coe knockdown animals, including 397 downregulated genes that were enriched for nervous system functional annotations. Next, we validated a subset of the downregulated transcripts by analyzing their expression in coe-deficient planarians and testing if the mRNAs could be detected in coe+ cells. These experiments revealed novel candidate targets of coe in the CNS such as ion channel, neuropeptide, and neurotransmitter genes. Finally, to determine if loss of any of the validated transcripts underscores the coe knockdown phenotype, we knocked down their expression by RNAi and uncovered a set of coe-regulated genes implicated in CNS regeneration and patterning, including orthologs of sodium channel alpha-subunit and pou4. Our study broadens the knowledge of gene expression programs regulated by COE that are required for maintenance of neural subtypes and nervous system architecture in adult animals.

  15. SMG-1 and mTORC1 act antagonistically to regulate response to injury and growth in planarians.

    PubMed

    González-Estévez, Cristina; Felix, Daniel A; Smith, Matthew D; Paps, Jordi; Morley, Simon J; James, Victoria; Sharp, Tyson V; Aboobaker, A Aziz

    2012-01-01

    Planarian flatworms are able to both regenerate their whole bodies and continuously adapt their size to nutrient status. Tight control of stem cell proliferation and differentiation during these processes is the key feature of planarian biology. Here we show that the planarian homolog of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase-related kinase (PIKK) family member SMG-1 and mTOR complex 1 components are required for this tight control. Loss of smg-1 results in a hyper-responsiveness to injury and growth and the formation of regenerative blastemas that remain undifferentiated and that lead to lethal ectopic outgrowths. Invasive stem cell hyper-proliferation, hyperplasia, hypertrophy, and differentiation defects are hallmarks of this uncontrolled growth. These data imply a previously unappreciated and novel physiological function for this PIKK family member. In contrast we found that planarian members of the mTOR complex 1, tor and raptor, are required for the initial response to injury and blastema formation. Double smg-1 RNAi experiments with tor or raptor show that abnormal growth requires mTOR signalling. We also found that the macrolide rapamycin, a natural compound inhibitor of mTORC1, is able to increase the survival rate of smg-1 RNAi animals by decreasing cell proliferation. Our findings support a model where Smg-1 acts as a novel regulator of both the response to injury and growth control mechanisms. Our data suggest the possibility that this may be by suppressing mTOR signalling. Characterisation of both the planarian mTORC1 signalling components and another PIKK family member as key regulators of regeneration and growth will influence future work on regeneration, growth control, and the development of anti-cancer therapies that target mTOR signalling.

  16. SMG-1 and mTORC1 Act Antagonistically to Regulate Response to Injury and Growth in Planarians

    PubMed Central

    González-Estévez, Cristina; Felix, Daniel A.; Smith, Matthew D.; Paps, Jordi; Morley, Simon J.; James, Victoria; Sharp, Tyson V.; Aboobaker, A. Aziz

    2012-01-01

    Planarian flatworms are able to both regenerate their whole bodies and continuously adapt their size to nutrient status. Tight control of stem cell proliferation and differentiation during these processes is the key feature of planarian biology. Here we show that the planarian homolog of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase-related kinase (PIKK) family member SMG-1 and mTOR complex 1 components are required for this tight control. Loss of smg-1 results in a hyper-responsiveness to injury and growth and the formation of regenerative blastemas that remain undifferentiated and that lead to lethal ectopic outgrowths. Invasive stem cell hyper-proliferation, hyperplasia, hypertrophy, and differentiation defects are hallmarks of this uncontrolled growth. These data imply a previously unappreciated and novel physiological function for this PIKK family member. In contrast we found that planarian members of the mTOR complex 1, tor and raptor, are required for the initial response to injury and blastema formation. Double smg-1 RNAi experiments with tor or raptor show that abnormal growth requires mTOR signalling. We also found that the macrolide rapamycin, a natural compound inhibitor of mTORC1, is able to increase the survival rate of smg-1 RNAi animals by decreasing cell proliferation. Our findings support a model where Smg-1 acts as a novel regulator of both the response to injury and growth control mechanisms. Our data suggest the possibility that this may be by suppressing mTOR signalling. Characterisation of both the planarian mTORC1 signalling components and another PIKK family member as key regulators of regeneration and growth will influence future work on regeneration, growth control, and the development of anti-cancer therapies that target mTOR signalling. PMID:22479207

  17. COE Loss-of-Function Analysis Reveals a Genetic Program Underlying Maintenance and Regeneration of the Nervous System in Planarians

    PubMed Central

    Cowles, Martis W.; Omuro, Kerilyn C.; Stanley, Brianna N.; Quintanilla, Carlo G.; Zayas, Ricardo M.

    2014-01-01

    Members of the COE family of transcription factors are required for central nervous system (CNS) development. However, the function of COE in the post-embryonic CNS remains largely unknown. An excellent model for investigating gene function in the adult CNS is the freshwater planarian. This animal is capable of regenerating neurons from an adult pluripotent stem cell population and regaining normal function. We previously showed that planarian coe is expressed in differentiating and mature neurons and that its function is required for proper CNS regeneration. Here, we show that coe is essential to maintain nervous system architecture and patterning in intact (uninjured) planarians. We took advantage of the robust phenotype in intact animals to investigate the genetic programs coe regulates in the CNS. We compared the transcriptional profiles of control and coe RNAi planarians using RNA sequencing and identified approximately 900 differentially expressed genes in coe knockdown animals, including 397 downregulated genes that were enriched for nervous system functional annotations. Next, we validated a subset of the downregulated transcripts by analyzing their expression in coe-deficient planarians and testing if the mRNAs could be detected in coe+ cells. These experiments revealed novel candidate targets of coe in the CNS such as ion channel, neuropeptide, and neurotransmitter genes. Finally, to determine if loss of any of the validated transcripts underscores the coe knockdown phenotype, we knocked down their expression by RNAi and uncovered a set of coe-regulated genes implicated in CNS regeneration and patterning, including orthologs of sodium channel alpha-subunit and pou4. Our study broadens the knowledge of gene expression programs regulated by COE that are required for maintenance of neural subtypes and nervous system architecture in adult animals. PMID:25356635

  18. Proteomic profiling of the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea and its mucous reveals similarities with human secretions and those predicted for parasitic flatworms.

    PubMed

    Bocchinfuso, Donald G; Taylor, Paul; Ross, Eric; Ignatchenko, Alex; Ignatchenko, Vladimir; Kislinger, Thomas; Pearson, Bret J; Moran, Michael F

    2012-09-01

    The freshwater planarian Schmidtea mediterranea has been used in research for over 100 years, and is an emerging stem cell model because of its capability of regenerating large portions of missing body parts. Exteriorly, planarians are covered in mucous secretions of unknown composition, implicated in locomotion, predation, innate immunity, and substrate adhesion. Although the planarian genome has been sequenced, it remains mostly unannotated, challenging both genomic and proteomic analyses. The goal of the current study was to annotate the proteome of the whole planarian and its mucous fraction. The S. mediterranea proteome was analyzed via mass spectrometry by using multidimensional protein identification technology with whole-worm tryptic digests. By using a proteogenomics approach, MS data were searched against an in silico translated planarian transcript database, and by using the Swiss-Prot BLAST algorithm to identify proteins similar to planarian queries. A total of 1604 proteins were identified. The mucous subproteome was defined through analysis of a mucous trail fraction and an extract obtained by treating whole worms with the mucolytic agent N-acetylcysteine. Gene Ontology analysis confirmed that the mucous fractions were enriched with secreted proteins. The S. mediterranea proteome is highly similar to that predicted for the trematode Schistosoma mansoni associated with intestinal schistosomiasis, with the mucous subproteome particularly highly conserved. Remarkably, orthologs of 119 planarian mucous proteins are present in human mucosal secretions and tear fluid. We suggest planarians have potential to be a model system for the characterization of mucous protein function and relevant to parasitic flatworm infections and diseases underlined by mucous aberrancies, such as cystic fibrosis, asthma, and other lung diseases.

  19. Proteomic Profiling of the Planarian Schmidtea mediterranea and Its Mucous Reveals Similarities with Human Secretions and Those Predicted for Parasitic Flatworms*

    PubMed Central

    Bocchinfuso, Donald G.; Taylor, Paul; Ross, Eric; Ignatchenko, Alex; Ignatchenko, Vladimir; Kislinger, Thomas; Pearson, Bret J.; Moran, Michael F.

    2012-01-01

    The freshwater planarian Schmidtea mediterranea has been used in research for over 100 years, and is an emerging stem cell model because of its capability of regenerating large portions of missing body parts. Exteriorly, planarians are covered in mucous secretions of unknown composition, implicated in locomotion, predation, innate immunity, and substrate adhesion. Although the planarian genome has been sequenced, it remains mostly unannotated, challenging both genomic and proteomic analyses. The goal of the current study was to annotate the proteome of the whole planarian and its mucous fraction. The S. mediterranea proteome was analyzed via mass spectrometry by using multidimensional protein identification technology with whole-worm tryptic digests. By using a proteogenomics approach, MS data were searched against an in silico translated planarian transcript database, and by using the Swiss-Prot BLAST algorithm to identify proteins similar to planarian queries. A total of 1604 proteins were identified. The mucous subproteome was defined through analysis of a mucous trail fraction and an extract obtained by treating whole worms with the mucolytic agent N-acetylcysteine. Gene Ontology analysis confirmed that the mucous fractions were enriched with secreted proteins. The S. mediterranea proteome is highly similar to that predicted for the trematode Schistosoma mansoni associated with intestinal schistosomiasis, with the mucous subproteome particularly highly conserved. Remarkably, orthologs of 119 planarian mucous proteins are present in human mucosal secretions and tear fluid. We suggest planarians have potential to be a model system for the characterization of mucous protein function and relevant to parasitic flatworm infections and diseases underlined by mucous aberrancies, such as cystic fibrosis, asthma, and other lung diseases. PMID:22653920

  20. Ammonia toxicity to the freshwater planarian Polycelis felina: contrasting effects of continuous versus discontinuous exposures.

    PubMed

    Alonso, Álvaro; Camargo, Julio A

    2015-05-01

    Aquatic animals can be exposed to fluctuating concentrations of toxicants. In fact, for some toxicants (i.e., pesticides, ammonia), discontinuous exposure is more environmentally relevant than constant exposure. Responses of aquatic animals to each type of exposure may be different. However, despite the high ecological relevance of behaviour, there is still scarce information on the effects of discontinuous exposure on behaviour. Our study focused on the assessment of unionized ammonia toxicity on the behaviour of a freshwater planarian under continuous exposure (3 days of exposure and 18 days of recovery) versus discontinuous exposure (3 pulses of 1 day with 6 days of recovery between pulses = total 3 days of exposure and 18 days of recovery). Behaviour was assessed as locomotion activity. Bioassays with continuous and discontinuous exposure were performed with one control and five unionized ammonia concentrations (0.14-0.35 mg N-NH3/L). Unionized ammonia in continuous exposure caused less impact on behaviour than equivalent concentrations provided in a discontinuous exposure. By contrast, continuous exposures caused more impact on survival. The discontinuous exposure may allow detoxification during recovery periods, thus increasing the probability of survival in the next pulse. Under continuous exposure, the mortality threshold could be exceeded, and animals could die in greater proportion during exposure as well as the recovery period. We conclude that behavioural activity was a sensitive endpoint to assess the contrasting effects of continuous versus discontinuous exposure and that the response of planarians to discontinuous exposure is different to its response to continuous exposure.

  1. Planarian Hedgehog/Patched establishes anterior–posterior polarity by regulating Wnt signaling

    PubMed Central

    Yazawa, Shigenobu; Umesono, Yoshihiko; Hayashi, Tetsutaro; Tarui, Hiroshi; Agata, Kiyokazu

    2009-01-01

    Despite long-standing interest, the molecular mechanisms underlying the establishment of anterior–posterior (AP) polarity remain among the unsolved mysteries in metazoans. In the planarians (a family of flatworms), canonical Wnt/β-catenin signaling is required for posterior specification, as it is in many animals. However, the molecular mechanisms regulating the posterior-specific induction of Wnt genes according to the AP polarity have remained unclear. Here, we demonstrate that Hedgehog (Hh) signaling is responsible for the establishment of AP polarity via its regulation of the transcription of Wnt family genes during planarian regeneration. We found that RNAi gene knockdown of Dugesia japonica patched (Djptc) caused ectopic tail formation in the anterior blastema of body fragments, resulting in bipolar-tails regeneration. In contrast, RNAi of hedgehog (Djhh) and gli (Djgli) caused bipolar-heads regeneration. We show that Patched-mediated Hh signaling was crucial for posterior specification, which is established by regulating the transcription of Wnt genes via downstream Gli activity. Moreover, differentiated cells were responsible for the posterior specification of undifferentiated stem cells through Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Surprisingly, Djhh was expressed in neural cells all along the ventral nerve cords (along the AP axis), but not in the posterior blastema of body fragments, where the expression of Wnt genes was induced for posteriorization. We therefore propose that Hh signals direct head or tail regeneration according to the AP polarity, which is established by Hh signaling activity along the body's preexisting nervous system. PMID:20018728

  2. TOR signaling regulates planarian stem cells and controls localized and organismal growth.

    PubMed

    Peiris, T Harshani; Weckerle, Frank; Ozamoto, Elyse; Ramirez, Daniel; Davidian, Devon; García-Ojeda, Marcos E; Oviedo, Néstor J

    2012-04-01

    Target of Rapamycin (TOR) controls an evolutionarily conserved signaling pathway that modulates cellular growth and division by sensing levels of nutrients, energy and stress. As such, TOR signaling is a crucial component of tissues and organs that translates systemic signals into cellular behavior. The ubiquitous nature of TOR signaling, together with the difficulty of analyzing tissue during cellular turnover and repair, have limited our understanding of how this kinase operates throughout the body. Here, we use the planarian model system to address TOR regulation at the organismal level. The planarian TOR homolog (Smed-TOR) is ubiquitously expressed, including stem cells (neoblasts) and differentiated tissues. Inhibition of TOR with RNA interference severely restricts cell proliferation, allowing the study of neoblasts with restricted proliferative capacity during regeneration and systemic cell turnover. Strikingly, TOR signaling is required for neoblast response to amputation and localized growth (blastema). However, in the absence of TOR signaling, regeneration takes place only within differentiated tissues. In addition, TOR is essential for maintaining the balance between cell division and cell death, and its dysfunction leads to tissue degeneration and lack of organismal growth in the presence of nutrients. Finally, TOR function is likely to be mediated through TOR Complex 1 as its disruption recapitulates signs of the TOR phenotype. Our data reveal novel roles for TOR signaling in controlling adult stem cells at a systemic level and suggest a new paradigm for studying TOR function during physiological turnover and regeneration.

  3. Morphogenesis defects are associated with abnormal nervous system regeneration following roboA RNAi in planarians.

    PubMed

    Cebrià, Francesc; Newmark, Phillip A

    2007-03-01

    The process by which the proper pattern is restored to newly formed tissues during metazoan regeneration remains an open question. Here, we provide evidence that the nervous system plays a role in regulating morphogenesis during anterior regeneration in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. RNA interference (RNAi) knockdown of a planarian ortholog of the axon-guidance receptor roundabout (robo) leads to unexpected phenotypes during anterior regeneration, including the development of a supernumerary pharynx (the feeding organ of the animal) and the production of ectopic, dorsal outgrowths with cephalic identity. We show that Smed-roboA RNAi knockdown disrupts nervous system structure during cephalic regeneration: the newly regenerated brain and ventral nerve cords do not re-establish proper connections. These neural defects precede, and are correlated with, the development of ectopic structures. We propose that, in the absence of proper connectivity between the cephalic ganglia and the ventral nerve cords, neurally derived signals promote the differentiation of pharyngeal and cephalic structures. Together with previous studies on regeneration in annelids and amphibians, these results suggest a conserved role of the nervous system in pattern formation during blastema-based regeneration.

  4. Light-induced depigmentation in planarians models the pathophysiology of acute porphyrias

    PubMed Central

    Stubenhaus, Bradford M; Dustin, John P; Neverett, Emily R; Beaudry, Megan S; Nadeau, Leanna E; Burk-McCoy, Ethan; He, Xinwen; Pearson, Bret J; Pellettieri, Jason

    2016-01-01

    Porphyrias are disorders of heme metabolism frequently characterized by extreme photosensitivity. This symptom results from accumulation of porphyrins, tetrapyrrole intermediates in heme biosynthesis that generate reactive oxygen species when exposed to light, in the skin of affected individuals. Here we report that in addition to producing an ommochrome body pigment, the planarian flatworm Schmidtea mediterranea generates porphyrins in its subepithelial pigment cells under physiological conditions, and that this leads to pigment cell loss when animals are exposed to intense visible light. Remarkably, porphyrin biosynthesis and light-induced depigmentation are enhanced by starvation, recapitulating a common feature of some porphyrias – decreased nutrient intake precipitates an acute manifestation of the disease. Our results establish planarians as an experimentally tractable animal model for research into the pathophysiology of acute porphyrias, and potentially for the identification of novel pharmacological interventions capable of alleviating porphyrin-mediated photosensitivity or decoupling dieting and fasting from disease pathogenesis. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.14175.001 PMID:27240733

  5. Identification of neoblast- and regeneration-specific miRNAs in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea.

    PubMed

    Sasidharan, Vidyanand; Lu, Yi-Chien; Bansal, Dhiru; Dasari, Pranavi; Poduval, Deepak; Seshasayee, Aswin; Resch, Alissa M; Graveley, Brenton R; Palakodeti, Dasaradhi

    2013-10-01

    In recent years, the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea has emerged as a tractable model system to study stem cell biology and regeneration. MicroRNAs are small RNA species that control gene expression by modulating translational repression and mRNA stability and have been implicated in the regulation of various cellular processes. Though recent studies have identified several miRNAs in S. mediterranea, their expression in neoblast subpopulations and during regeneration has not been examined. Here, we identify several miRNAs whose expression is enriched in different neoblast subpopulations and in regenerating tissue at different time points in S. mediterranea. Some of these miRNAs were enriched within 3 h post-amputation and may, therefore, play a role in wound healing and/or neoblast migration. Our results also revealed miRNAs, such as sme-miR-2d-3p and the sme-miR-124 family, whose expression is enriched in the cephalic ganglia, are also expressed in the brain primordium during CNS regeneration. These results provide new insight into the potential biological functions of miRNAs in neoblasts and regeneration in planarians.

  6. The NuRD complex component p66 suppresses photoreceptor neuron regeneration in planarians

    PubMed Central

    Vásquez‐Doorman, Constanza

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Regeneration involves precise control of cell fate to produce an appropriate complement of tissues formed within a blastema. Several chromatin‐modifying complexes have been identified as required for regeneration in planarians, but it is unclear whether this class of molecules uniformly promotes the production of differentiated cells. We identify a function for p66, encoding a DNA‐binding protein component of the NuRD (nucleosome remodeling and deacetylase) complex, as well as the chromodomain helicase chd4, in suppressing production of photoreceptor neurons (PRNs) in planarians. This suppressive effect appeared restricted to PRNs because p66 inhibition did not influence numbers of eye pigment cup cells (PCCs) and decreased numbers of brain neurons and epidermal progenitors. PRNs from p66(RNAi) animals differentiated with some abnormalities but nonetheless produced arrestin+ projections to the brain. p66 inhibition produced excess ovo+otxA+ PRN progenitors without affecting numbers of ovo+otxA− PCC progenitors, and ovo and otxA were each required for the p66(RNAi) excess PRN phenotype. Together these results suggest that p66 acts through the NuRD complex to suppress PRN production by limiting expression of lineage‐specific transcription factors. PMID:27606067

  7. Identification and expression analysis of a Spsb gene in planarian Dugesia japonica.

    PubMed

    Dong, Zimei; Cheng, Fangfang; Yuwen, Yanqing; Chen, Jing; Li, Xiaoyan; Dou, He; Zhang, Haixia; Chen, Guangwen; Liu, Dezeng

    2015-06-15

    The SPSB family is comprised of four highly conserved proteins, each containing a C-terminal SOCS box motif and a central SPRY domain. Presently, Spsb genes have been found in mammals and in a few invertebrates, however, the specific functions of these genes are still unknown. In this study, we identified a Spsb gene from the planarian Dugesia japonica and termed it DjSpsb. The temporal and spatial expression patterns of DjSpsb were examined in both intact and regenerative animals, and expression levels were also quantified in response to various stressors. The results show that (1) DjSpsb is highly conserved in evolutionary history in metazoans and is at closer relationship to Spsb1, Spsb2 and Spsb4; (2) DjSpsb mRNA is mainly expressed in the head and also throughout head regeneration processes, particularly, its expression up-regulated observably on day 5 after amputation; (3) DjSpsb is also expressed in the testes and yolk glands; (4) DjSpsb expression is induced by high temperature and ethanol but inhibited by high doses of ionic liquids. The date suggests that the DjSpsb gene might be active in central nervous system (CNS) formation and functional recovery during head regeneration, and it is also involved in the development of germ cells and stress responses in the planarians.

  8. Evolution of the EGFR pathway in Metazoa and its diversification in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea

    PubMed Central

    Barberán, Sara; Martín-Durán, José M.; Cebrià, Francesc

    2016-01-01

    The EGFR pathway is an essential signaling system in animals, whose core components are the epidermal growth factors (EGF ligands) and their trans-membrane tyrosine kinase receptors (EGFRs). Despite extensive knowledge in classical model organisms, little is known of the composition and function of the EGFR pathway in most animal lineages. Here, we have performed an extensive search for the presence of EGFRs and EGF ligands in representative species of most major animal clades, with special focus on the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. With the exception of placozoans and cnidarians, we found that the EGFR pathway is potentially present in all other analyzed animal groups, and has experienced frequent independent expansions. We further characterized the expression domains of the EGFR/EGF identified in S. mediterranea, revealing a wide variety of patterns and localization in almost all planarian tissues. Finally, functional experiments suggest an interaction between one of the previously described receptors, Smed-egfr-5, and the newly found ligand Smed-egf-6. Our findings provide the most comprehensive overview to date of the EGFR pathway, and indicate that the last common metazoan ancestor had an initial complement of one EGFR and one putative EGF ligand, which was often expanded or lost during animal evolution. PMID:27325311

  9. A mex3 homolog is required for differentiation during planarian stem cell lineage development.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Shu Jun; Hallows, Stephanie E; Currie, Ko W; Xu, ChangJiang; Pearson, Bret J

    2015-06-26

    Neoblasts are adult stem cells (ASCs) in planarians that sustain cell replacement during homeostasis and regeneration of any missing tissue. While numerous studies have examined genes underlying neoblast pluripotency, molecular pathways driving postmitotic fates remain poorly defined. In this study, we used transcriptional profiling of irradiation-sensitive and irradiation-insensitive cell populations and RNA interference (RNAi) functional screening to uncover markers and regulators of postmitotic progeny. We identified 32 new markers distinguishing two main epithelial progenitor populations and a planarian homolog to the MEX3 RNA-binding protein (Smed-mex3-1) as a key regulator of lineage progression. mex3-1 was required for generating differentiated cells of multiple lineages, while restricting the size of the stem cell compartment. We also demonstrated the utility of using mex3-1(RNAi) animals to identify additional progenitor markers. These results identified mex3-1 as a cell fate regulator, broadly required for differentiation, and suggest that mex3-1 helps to mediate the balance between ASC self-renewal and commitment.

  10. Dishevelled is essential for neural connectivity and planar cell polarity in planarians.

    PubMed

    Almuedo-Castillo, Maria; Saló, Emili; Adell, Teresa

    2011-02-15

    The Wingless/Integrated (Wnt) signaling pathway controls multiple events during development and homeostasis. It comprises multiple branches, mainly classified according to their dependence on β-catenin activation. The Wnt/β-catenin branch is essential for the establishment of the embryonic anteroposterior (AP) body axis throughout the phylogenetic tree. It is also required for AP axis establishment during planarian regeneration. Wnt/β-catenin-independent signaling encompasses several different pathways, of which the most extensively studied is the planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway, which is responsible for planar polarization of cell structures within an epithelial sheet. Dishevelled (Dvl) is the hub of Wnt signaling because it regulates and channels the Wnt signal into every branch. Here, we analyze the role of Schmidtea mediterranea Dvl homologs (Smed-dvl-1 and Smed-dvl-2) using gene silencing. We demonstrate that in addition to a role in AP axis specification, planarian Dvls are involved in at least two different β-catenin-independent processes. First, they are essential for neural connectivity through Smed-wnt5 signaling. Second, Smed-dvl-2, together with the S. mediterranea homologs of Van-Gogh (Vang) and Diversin (Div), is required for apical positioning of the basal bodies of epithelial cells. These data represent evidence not only of the function of the PCP network in lophotrocozoans but of the involvement of the PCP core elements Vang and Div in apical positioning of the cilia.

  11. PBX/extradenticle is required to re-establish axial structures and polarity during planarian regeneration.

    PubMed

    Blassberg, Robert A; Felix, Daniel A; Tejada-Romero, Belen; Aboobaker, A Aziz

    2013-02-01

    Recent advances in a number of systems suggest many genes involved in orchestrating regeneration are redeployed from similar processes in development, with others being novel to the regeneration process in particular lineages. Of particular importance will be understanding the architecture of regenerative genetic regulatory networks and whether they are conserved across broad phylogenetic distances. Here, we describe the role of the conserved TALE class protein PBX/Extradenticle in planarians, a representative member of the Lophotrocozoa. PBX/Extradenticle proteins play central roles in both embryonic and post-embryonic developmental patterning in both vertebrates and insects, and we demonstrate a broad requirement during planarian regeneration. We observe that Smed-pbx has pleiotropic functions during regeneration, with a primary role in patterning the anterior-posterior (AP) axis and AP polarity. Smed-pbx is required for expression of polarity determinants notum and wnt1 and for correct patterning of the structures polarized along the AP axis, such as the brain, pharynx and gut. Overall, our data suggest that Smed-pbx functions as a central integrator of positional information to drive patterning of regeneration along the body axis.

  12. Egf Signaling Directs Neoblast Repopulation by Regulating Asymmetric Cell Division in Planarians.

    PubMed

    Lei, Kai; Thi-Kim Vu, Hanh; Mohan, Ryan D; McKinney, Sean A; Seidel, Chris W; Alexander, Richard; Gotting, Kirsten; Workman, Jerry L; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro

    2016-08-22

    A large population of proliferative stem cells (neoblasts) is required for physiological tissue homeostasis and post-injury regeneration in planarians. Recent studies indicate that survival of a few neoblasts after sublethal irradiation results in the clonal expansion of the surviving stem cells and the eventual restoration of tissue homeostasis and regenerative capacity. However, the precise mechanisms regulating the population dynamics of neoblasts remain largely unknown. Here, we uncovered a central role for epidermal growth factor (EGF) signaling during in vivo neoblast expansion mediated by Smed-egfr-3 (egfr-3) and its putative ligand Smed-neuregulin-7 (nrg-7). Furthermore, the EGF receptor-3 protein localizes asymmetrically on the cytoplasmic membrane of neoblasts, and the ratio of asymmetric to symmetric cell divisions decreases significantly in egfr-3(RNAi) worms. Our results not only provide the first molecular evidence of asymmetric stem cell divisions in planarians, but also demonstrate that EGF signaling likely functions as an essential regulator of neoblast clonal expansion.

  13. Evolution of the EGFR pathway in Metazoa and its diversification in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea.

    PubMed

    Barberán, Sara; Martín-Durán, José M; Cebrià, Francesc

    2016-06-21

    The EGFR pathway is an essential signaling system in animals, whose core components are the epidermal growth factors (EGF ligands) and their trans-membrane tyrosine kinase receptors (EGFRs). Despite extensive knowledge in classical model organisms, little is known of the composition and function of the EGFR pathway in most animal lineages. Here, we have performed an extensive search for the presence of EGFRs and EGF ligands in representative species of most major animal clades, with special focus on the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. With the exception of placozoans and cnidarians, we found that the EGFR pathway is potentially present in all other analyzed animal groups, and has experienced frequent independent expansions. We further characterized the expression domains of the EGFR/EGF identified in S. mediterranea, revealing a wide variety of patterns and localization in almost all planarian tissues. Finally, functional experiments suggest an interaction between one of the previously described receptors, Smed-egfr-5, and the newly found ligand Smed-egf-6. Our findings provide the most comprehensive overview to date of the EGFR pathway, and indicate that the last common metazoan ancestor had an initial complement of one EGFR and one putative EGF ligand, which was often expanded or lost during animal evolution.

  14. A mex3 homolog is required for differentiation during planarian stem cell lineage development

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Shu Jun; Hallows, Stephanie E; Currie, Ko W; Xu, ChangJiang; Pearson, Bret J

    2015-01-01

    Neoblasts are adult stem cells (ASCs) in planarians that sustain cell replacement during homeostasis and regeneration of any missing tissue. While numerous studies have examined genes underlying neoblast pluripotency, molecular pathways driving postmitotic fates remain poorly defined. In this study, we used transcriptional profiling of irradiation-sensitive and irradiation-insensitive cell populations and RNA interference (RNAi) functional screening to uncover markers and regulators of postmitotic progeny. We identified 32 new markers distinguishing two main epithelial progenitor populations and a planarian homolog to the MEX3 RNA-binding protein (Smed-mex3-1) as a key regulator of lineage progression. mex3-1 was required for generating differentiated cells of multiple lineages, while restricting the size of the stem cell compartment. We also demonstrated the utility of using mex3-1(RNAi) animals to identify additional progenitor markers. These results identified mex3-1 as a cell fate regulator, broadly required for differentiation, and suggest that mex3-1 helps to mediate the balance between ASC self-renewal and commitment. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.07025.001 PMID:26114597

  15. An RbAp48-like gene regulates adult stem cells in planarians.

    PubMed

    Bonuccelli, Lucia; Rossi, Leonardo; Lena, Annalisa; Scarcelli, Vittoria; Rainaldi, Giuseppe; Evangelista, Monica; Iacopetti, Paola; Gremigni, Vittorio; Salvetti, Alessandra

    2010-03-01

    Retinoblastoma-associated proteins 46 and 48 (RbAp46 and RbAp48) are factors that are components of different chromatin-modelling complexes, such as polycomb repressive complex 2, the activity of which is related to epigenetic gene regulation in stem cells. To date, no direct findings are available on the in vivo role of RbAp48 in stem-cell biology. We recently identified DjRbAp48 - a planarian (Dugesia japonica) homologue of human RBAP48 - expression of which is restricted to the neoblasts, the adult stem cells of planarians. In vivo silencing of DjRbAp48 induces lethality and inability to regenerate, even though neoblasts proliferate and accumulate after wounding. Despite a partial reduction in neoblast number, we were always able to detect a significant number of these cells in DjRbAp48 RNAi animals. Parallel to the decrease in neoblasts, a reduction in the number of differentiated cells and the presence of apoptotic-like neoblasts were detectable in RNAi animals. These findings suggest that DjRbAp48 is not involved in neoblast maintenance, but rather in the regulation of differentiation of stem-cell progeny. We discuss our data, taking into account the possibility that DjRbAp48 might control the expression of genes necessary for cell differentiation by influencing chromatin architecture.

  16. A lophotrochozoan-specific nuclear hormone receptor is required for reproductive system development in the planarian

    PubMed Central

    Tharp, Marla E.; Collins, James J.; Newmark, Phillip A.

    2014-01-01

    Germ cells of sexually reproducing organisms receive an array of cues from somatic tissues that instruct developmental processes. Although the nature of these signals differs amongst organisms, the importance of germline-soma interactions is a common theme. Recently, peptide hormones from the nervous system have been shown to regulate germ cell development in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea; thus, we sought to investigate a second class of hormones with a conserved role in reproduction, the lipophilic hormones. In order to study these signals, we identified a set of putative lipophilic hormone receptors, known as nuclear hormone receptors, and analyzed their functions in reproductive development. We found one gene, nhr-1, belonging to a small class of functionally uncharacterized lophotrochozoan-specific receptors, to be essential for the development of differentiated germ cells. Upon nhr-1 knockdown, germ cells in the testes and ovaries fail to mature, and remain as undifferentiated germline stem cells. Further analysis revealed that nhr-1 mRNA is expressed in the accessory reproductive organs and is required for their development, suggesting that this transcription factor functions cell non-autonomously in regulating germ cell development. Our studies identify a role for nuclear hormone receptors in planarian reproductive maturation and reinforce the significance of germline-soma interactions in sexual reproduction across metazoans. PMID:25278423

  17. Evolutionary implications of morphogenesis and molecular patterning of the blind gut in the planarian Schmidtea polychroa.

    PubMed

    Martín-Durán, José María; Romero, Rafael

    2011-04-01

    The formation of a through-gut was a key innovation in the evolution of metazoans. There is still controversy regarding the origin of the anus and how it may have been either gained or lost during evolution in different bilaterian taxa. Thus, the study of groups with a blind gut is of great importance for understanding the evolution of this organ system. Here, we describe the morphogenesis and molecular patterning of the blind gut in the sexual triclad Schmidtea polychroa. We identify and analyze the expression of goosecoid, commonly associated with the foregut, and the GATA, ParaHox and T-box genes, members of which commonly are associated with gut regionalization. We show that GATA456a is expressed in the blind gut of triclads, while GATA456b is localized in dorsal parenchymal cells. Goosecoid is expressed in the central nervous system, and the unique ParaHox gene identified, Xlox, is detected in association with the nervous system. We have not isolated any brachyury gene in the T-box complement of S. polychroa, which consists of one tbx1/10, three tbx2/3 and one tbx20. Furthermore, the absence of genes like brachyury and caudal is also present in other groups of Platyhelminthes. This study suggests that GATA456, in combination with foxA, is a gut-specific patterning mechanism conserved in the triclad S. polychroa, while the conserved gut-associated expression of foregut, midgut and hindgut markers is absent. Based on these data and the deviations in spiral cleavage found in more basal flatworms, we propose that the lack of an anus is an innovation of Platyhelminthes. This may be associated with loss of gut gene expression or even gene loss.

  18. [Peculiarities of ultrastructure of excretory system in Bothrioplana semperi (Platyhelminthes, Turbellaria)].

    PubMed

    Kornakova, E E

    2010-01-01

    Ultrastructural study of morphology of cirtocytes and excretory channels was performed in the free living turbellaria Bothrioplana semperi (Turbellaria, Seriata). It has been shown that cirtocytes of this species are formed by two cells--the terminal and the proximal cells of the channel. The fan is composed of two rod rows. The external row goes out from the terminal cell, the internal one is a derivate of the channel proximal cell. Inside each rod of the external row there runs a bundle of microfilaments; it originates in the cytoplasm of the channel proximal cell distal to bases of the external rods. On the internal rod membranes there are noted small electrondense granules disposed separately or fused in the solid layer continuing into a dense "membrane" connecting rods of the external and internal rows. Rare internal leptotrichiae go out from the cirtocyte cavity bottom. External leptotrichiae are absent. The septate desmosome at the level of the terminal cell is absent, but is present in the channel proximal cell at the level of terminal of cilia. The apical surface of the channel cell carries rare short microvilli. The basement membrane of cells of excretory channels forms deep invaginations almost reaching the apical membrane. Epithelium of excretory channels is deprived of cilia. Ultrastructure of cirtocytes and excretory channels of B. semperi is similar to those in representatives of the suborder Proseriata (Seriata). The significance of ultrastructure of the Proseriata cirtocytes, especially of the order of formation of versh, for construction of phylogeny of Platyhelminthes is discussed.

  19. Diseases of cultured marine fishes caused by Platyhelminthes (Monogenea, Digenea, Cestoda).

    PubMed

    Ogawa, K

    2015-01-01

    Mariculture is a rapidly developing industrial sector. Generally, fish are maintained in net cages with high density. Cage culture systems allow uncontrolled flow of sea water containing potentially infectious stages of fish parasites. In such culture conditions, prevention of such parasitic infections is difficult for parasites with life cycles that complete within culture sites, among which monogeneans and blood flukes are the most important platyhelminthes. Intense monogenean infections induce respiratory and osmo-regulatory dysfunctions. A variety of control measures have been developed, including freshwater bath treatment and chemotherapy. The potential to control monogenean infections through selective breeding, modified culture techniques to avoid infection, and general fish health management are discussed. It should be noted that mariculture conditions have provided some host-specific monogeneans with a chance to expand their host ranges. Blood flukes sometimes induce mass mortality among farmed fish. In-feed administration of praziquantel is the best solution to treat infected fish. Some cases are described that show how international trade in marine fish has resulted in the spread of hitherto unknown parasites into indigenous farmed and wild fish.

  20. Comparative study of adaptive radiations with an example using parasitic flatworms (Platyhelminthes): Cercomeria

    SciTech Connect

    Brooks, D.R.; McLennan, D.A. )

    1993-11-01

    Studies of adaptive radiations require robust phylogenies, estimates of species numbers for monophyletic groups within clades, assessments of the adaptive value of putative key innovations, and estimates of the frequency of speciation modes. Four criteria are necessary to identify an adaptive radiation within the parasitic platyhelminths: (1) a group contains significantly more species than its sister group, (2) species richness is apomorphic, (3) apomorphic traits enhance the potential for adaptively driven modes of speciation (sympatric speciation and speciation by peripheral isolation via host switching), and (4) the frequency of adaptively driven speciation modes is high within the group when compared with data from free-living groups. Only the species-rich Monogenea fulfill all four criteria. The Digenea and Eucestoda also are more species rich than their sister groups, their species richness is derived, and they possess unique characters that increase the potential for host switching to occur. However, because there is not enough information to determine whether the frequency of adaptive modes of speciation is high for those groups, we cannot yet assert that their radiations have been adaptive. 102 refs., 3 figs., 1 tab.

  1. Myogenesis in two polyclad platyhelminths with indirect development, Pseudoceros canadensis and Stylostomum sanjuania.

    PubMed

    Semmler, Henrike; Wanninger, Andreas

    2010-01-01

    Myogenesis of two representatives of Platyhelminthes, Stylostomum sanjuania and Pseudoceros canadensis, was followed from egg deposition until well-differentiated free-swimming larval stages, using F-actin staining and confocal laserscanning microscopy. Zonulae adhaerentes are the only structures to stain before 50% of development between egg deposition and hatching in S. sanjuania, and before 67% of development in P. canadenis. Subsequently, irregular fibers appear in the embryo, followed by a helicoid muscle close to the apical pole. Three longitudinal muscle pairs form, of which the dorsal pair remains more pronounced than the others. Gradually, new muscles form by branching or from double-stranded muscle zones adjacent to existing muscles. This results in an elaborate muscular bodywall that consists of a single helicoid muscle as well as multiple circular and longitudinal muscles. Diverse retractor muscles insert at the sphincter muscles around the stomodeum. The overall arrangement and formation mode of the larval musculature appears very similar in both species, although only P. canadensis has a primary circular muscle posterior to the helicoid muscle. Muscle formation in the apical region of the embryo precedes that at the abapical pole and the primary longitudinal muscles form slightly later than the primary circular muscles. Myogenesis and larval myoanatomy appears highly conserved among polyclad flatworms, but differs significantly from that of other trochozoan clades. Our data suggest that the larval muscular ground pattern of polyclad larvae comprises a bodywall consisting of a helicoid muscle, circular and longitudinal muscles, several retractor muscles, and sphincter muscles around the stomodeum.

  2. Elucidating the phylogenetic position of Gnathostomulida and first mitochondrial genomes of Gnathostomulida, Gastrotricha and Polycladida (Platyhelminthes).

    PubMed

    Golombek, Anja; Tobergte, Sarah; Struck, Torsten H

    2015-05-01

    Gnathostomulida is a taxon of small marine worms, which exclusively inhabit the interstitium. The evolution of Gnathostomulida has been discussed for decades. Originally regarded as primitive animals with affinities to flatworms, the phylogenetic position of Gnathostomulida has been debated. Given the lack of an anus a close relationship to Platyhelminthes has been maintained (i.e., Plathelminthomorpha hypothesis). Alternative hypotheses proposed Gnathostomulida as being close to Gastrotricha due to the presence of a monociliary epidermis (i.e., Monokonta/Neotrichozoa hypothesis) or to Syndermata based on the complicated jaw apparatus (i.e., Gnathifera hypothesis). Molecular analyses using only few genes were inconclusive. Recent phylogenomic studies brought some progress by placing Gnathostomulida as sister to Syndermata, but support for this relationship was low and depended on the analytical strategy. Herein we present the first data of complete or nearly complete mitochondrial genomes for two gnathostomulids (Gnathostomula paradoxa &G. armata), one gastrotrich (Lepidodermella squamata) and one polyclad flatworm (Stylochoplana maculata) to address the uncertain phylogenetic affinity of Gnathostomulida. Our analyses found Gnathostomulida as sister to Syndermata (Gnathifera hypothesis). Thorough sensitivity analyses addressing taxon instability, branch length heterogeneity (also known as long branch attraction) and base composition heterogeneity showed that the position of Gnathostomulida is consistent across the different analyses and, hence, independent of potential misleading biases. Moreover, by ameliorating these different biases nodal support values could be increased to maximum values. Thus, our data support the hypothesis that the different jaw apparatuses of Syndermata and Gnathostomulida are indeed homologous structures as proposed by the Gnathifera hypothesis.

  3. Problematic barcoding in flatworms: A case-study on monogeneans and rhabdocoels (Platyhelminthes)

    PubMed Central

    Vanhove, Maarten P. M.; Tessens, Bart; Schoelinck, Charlotte; Jondelius, Ulf; Littlewood, D. Tim J.; Artois, Tom; Huyse, Tine

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Some taxonomic groups are less amenable to mitochondrial DNA barcoding than others. Due to the paucity of molecular information of understudied groups and the huge molecular diversity within flatworms, primer design has been hampered. Indeed, all attempts to develop universal flatworm-specific COI markers have failed so far. We demonstrate how high molecular variability and contamination problems limit the possibilities for barcoding using standard COI-based protocols in flatworms. As a consequence, molecular identification methods often rely on other widely applicable markers. In the case of Monogenea, a very diverse group of platyhelminth parasites, and Rhabdocoela, representing one-fourth of all free-living flatworm taxa, this has led to a relatively high availability of nuclear ITS and 18S/28S rDNA sequences on GenBank. In a comparison of the effectiveness in species assignment we conclude that mitochondrial and nuclear ribosomal markers perform equally well. In case intraspecific information is needed, rDNA sequences can guide the selection of the appropriate (i.e. taxon-specific) COI primers if available. PMID:24453567

  4. A new species of Supramontana Carbayo & Leal-Zanchet (Platyhelminthes, Continenticola, Geoplanidae) from the Interior Atlantic Forest.

    PubMed

    Negrete, Lisandro; Leal-Zanchet, Ana Maria; Brusa, Francisco

    2014-01-06

    Supramontana argentina sp. nov. (Platyhelminthes, Continenticola, Geoplanidae) from north-eastern Argentina is herein described. The new species differs from Supramontana irritata Carbayo & Leal-Zanchet, 2003 from Brazil, the only species of this genus so far described, by external and internal morphological characters. Supramontana argentina sp. nov. is characterized by having a colour pattern with a yellowish median band, thin para-median black stripes, and two dark grey lateral bands on the dorsal surface. The most outstanding features of the internal morphology are a ventral cephalic retractor muscle almost circular in cross section, prostatic vesicle extrabulbar, tubular and very long, and penis papilla conical and blunt with a sinuous ejaculatory duct.

  5. Topiramate-antagonism of L-glutamate-induced paroxysms in planarians.

    PubMed

    Raffa, Robert B; Finno, Kristin E; Tallarida, Christopher S; Rawls, Scott M

    2010-12-15

    We recently reported that NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) and AMPA (α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid) induce concentration-dependent paroxysms in planarians (Dugesia dorotocephala). Since the postulated mechanisms of action of the sulfamate-substituted monosaccharide antiepileptic drug topiramate include inhibition of glutamate-activated ion channels, we tested the hypothesis that topiramate would inhibit glutamate-induced paroxysms in our model. We demonstrate that: (1) L-glutamate (1-10 mM), but not D-glutamate, induced dose-related paroxysms, and that (2) topiramate dose-relatedly (0.3-3 mM) inhibited L-glutamate-induced paroxysms. These results provide further evidence of a topiramate-sensitive glutamate receptor-mediated activity in this model.

  6. Polarized notum activation at wounds inhibits Wnt function to promote planarian head regeneration.

    PubMed

    Petersen, Christian P; Reddien, Peter W

    2011-05-13

    Regeneration requires initiation of programs tailored to the identity of missing parts. Head-versus-tail regeneration in planarians presents a paradigm for study of this phenomenon. After injury, Wnt signaling promotes tail regeneration. We report that wounding elicits expression of the Wnt inhibitor notum preferentially at anterior-facing wounds. This expression asymmetry occurs at essentially any wound, even if the anterior pole is intact. Inhibition of notum with RNA interference (RNAi) causes regeneration of an anterior-facing tail instead of a head, and double-RNAi experiments indicate that notum inhibits Wnt signaling to promote head regeneration. notum expression is itself controlled by Wnt signaling, suggesting that regulation of feedback inhibition controls the binary head-tail regeneration outcome. We conclude that local detection of wound orientation with respect to tissue axes results in distinct signaling environments that initiate appropriate regeneration responses.

  7. Amputation induces stem cell mobilization to sites of injury during planarian regeneration.

    PubMed

    Guedelhoefer, Otto C; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro

    2012-10-01

    How adult stem cell populations are recruited for tissue renewal and repair is a fundamental question of biology. Mobilization of stem cells out of their niches followed by correct migration and differentiation at a site of tissue turnover or injury are important requirements for proper tissue maintenance and regeneration. However, we understand little about the mechanisms that control this process, possibly because the best studied vertebrate adult stem cell systems are not readily amenable to in vivo observation. Furthermore, few clear examples of the recruitment of fully potent stem cells, compared with limited progenitors, are known. Here, we show that planarian stem cells directionally migrate to amputation sites during regeneration. We also show that during tissue homeostasis they are stationary. Our study not only uncovers the existence of specific recruitment mechanisms elicited by amputation, but also sets the stage for the systematic characterization of evolutionarily conserved stem cell regulatory processes likely to inform stem cell function and dysfunction in higher organisms, including humans.

  8. Cloning of fragments of novel homeobox genes expressed during regeneration in planarians

    SciTech Connect

    Lukyanov, K.A.; Tarabykin, V.S.; Potapov, V.K.

    1994-11-01

    The polymerase chain reaction with degenerate primers corresponding to the most conservative amino acids 16-21 (ELEKEF) and 49-54 (WPQNRR) of the Antennapedia class homeodomains was used for the amplification of cDNA from regenerating planarians (asexual race of Dugesia tigrina). A total of six new Antennapedia-like homeobox sequences, designated Dutarh-1-Dutarh-6 (Dugesia tigrina asexual race homeobox gene), have been identified. Their comparison with other homeobox genes using a Genebee software (the EMBL Data Library) showed that all sequences except Dutarh-6 belong to the Antennapedia class. Dutarh-6 is closely related to a recently described novel homeobox gene subfamily which includes mouse mesodermal homeobox genes Max-1 and Max-2 and rat homeobox gene Gax. 17 refs., 2 figs.

  9. Preparation of the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea for high-resolution histology and transmission electron microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Brubacher, John L.; Vieira, Ana P.; Newmark, Phillip A.

    2014-01-01

    The flatworm Schmidtea mediterranea is an emerging model species in such fields as stem-cell biology, regeneration, and evolutionary biology. Excellent molecular tools have been developed for S. mediterranea, but ultrastructural techniques have received far less attention. Processing specimens for histology and transmission electron microscopy is notoriously idiosyncratic for particular species or specimen types. Unfortunately however, most methods for S. mediterranea described in the literature lack numerous essential details, and those few that do provide them rely on specialized equipment that may not be readily available. Here we present an optimized protocol for ultrastructural preparation of S. mediterranea. The protocol can be completed in six days, much of which is “hands-off” time. To aid with troubleshooting, we also illustrate the significant effects of seemingly minor variations in fixative, buffer concentration, and dehydration steps. This procedure will be useful for all planarian researchers, particularly those with relatively little experience in tissue processing. PMID:24556788

  10. Evaluation of endogenous reference genes for analysis of gene expression with real-time RT-PCR during planarian regeneration.

    PubMed

    Yuwen, Yan-Qing; Dong, Zi-Mei; Wang, Qing-Hua; Sun, Xiao-Juan; Shi, Chang-Ying; Chen, Guang-Wen

    2011-10-01

    It is important that endogenous reference genes for real-time RT-PCR be empirically evaluated for stability in different cell types, developmental stages, and/or sample treatment. To select the most stable endogenous reference genes during planarian regeneration, three housekeeping genes, 18S rRNA, ACTB and DjEF2, were identified and established expression levels by real-time RT-PCR. The data were analyzed by GeNorm and NormFinder software. Expression levels of the Djsix-1 gene were studied in parallel with ACTB and DjEF2 both or each and 18S rRNA as reference during regeneration. The results showed that ACTB was the most stable expressed reference gene in the planarian regeneration.

  11. Global irradiation effects, stem cell genes and rare transcripts in the planarian transcriptome.

    PubMed

    Galloni, Mireille

    2012-01-01

    Stem cells are the closest relatives of the totipotent primordial cell, which is able to spawn millions of daughter cells and hundreds of cell types in multicellular organisms. Stem cells are involved in tissue homeostasis and regeneration, and may play a major role in cancer development. Among animals, planarians host a model stem cell type, called the neoblast, which essentially confers immortality. Gaining insights into the global transcriptional landscape of these exceptional cells takes an unprecedented turn with the advent of Next Generation Sequencing methods. Two Digital Gene Expression transcriptomes of Schmidtea mediterranea planarians, with or without neoblasts lost through irradiation, were produced and analyzed. Twenty one bp NlaIII tags were mapped to transcripts in the Schmidtea and Dugesia taxids. Differential representation of tags in normal versus irradiated animals reflects differential gene expression. Canonical and non-canonical tags were included in the analysis, and comparative studies with human orthologs were conducted. Transcripts fell into 3 categories: invariant (including housekeeping genes), absent in irradiated animals (potential neoblast-specific genes, IRDOWN) and induced in irradiated animals (potential cellular stress response, IRUP). Different mRNA variants and gene family members were recovered. In the IR-DOWN class, almost all of the neoblast-specific genes previously described were found. In irradiated animals, a larger number of genes were induced rather than lost. A significant fraction of IRUP genes behaved as if transcript versions of different lengths were produced. Several novel potential neoblast-specific genes have been identified that varied in relative abundance, including highly conserved as well as novel proteins without predicted orthologs. Evidence for a large body of antisense transcripts, for example regulated antisense for the Smed-piwil1 gene, and evidence for RNA shortening in irradiated animals is presented

  12. Toxicity profiles and solvent-toxicant interference in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea after dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) exposure.

    PubMed

    Stevens, An-Sofie; Pirotte, Nicky; Plusquin, Michelle; Willems, Maxime; Neyens, Thomas; Artois, Tom; Smeets, Karen

    2015-03-01

    To investigate hydrophobic test compounds in toxicological studies, solvents like dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) are inevitable. However, using these solvents, the interpretation of test compound-induced responses can be biased. DMSO concentration guidelines are available, but are mostly based on acute exposures involving one specific toxicity endpoint. Hence, to avoid solvent-toxicant interference, we use multiple chronic test endpoints for additional interpretation of DMSO concentrations and propose a statistical model to assess possible synergistic, antagonistic or additive effects of test compounds and their solvents. In this study, the effects of both short- (1 day) and long-term (2 weeks) exposures to low DMSO concentrations (up to 1000 µl l(-1) ) were studied in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. We measured different biological levels in both fully developed and developing animals. In a long-term exposure set-up, a concentration of 500 µl l(-1) DMSO interfered with processes on different biological levels, e.g. behaviour, stem cell proliferation and gene expression profiles. After short exposure times, 500 µl l(-1) DMSO only affected motility, whereas the most significant changes on different parameters were observed at a concentration of 1000 µl l(-1) DMSO. As small sensitivity differences exist between biological levels and developmental stages, we advise the use of this solvent in concentrations below 500 µl l(-1) in this organism. In the second part of our study, we propose a statistical approach to account for solvent-toxicant interactions and discuss full-scale solvent toxicity studies. In conclusion, we reassessed DMSO concentration limits for different experimental endpoints in the planarian S. mediterranea.

  13. Specific features of the planarian Dugesia tigrina regeneration and mollusk Helix albescens nociception under weak electromagnetic shielding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Temur'yants, N. A.; Demtsun, N. A.; Kostyuk, A. S.; Yarmolyuk, N. S.

    2012-12-01

    It has been demonstrated that weak electromagnetic shielding stimulates regeneration in the planarian Dugesia tigrina, the stimulating intensity being dependent on both the initial state of the animals, which is determined by season, and their functional asymmetry. As has been shown, the effect of a weak electromagnetic field induces phasic changes in the nociceptive sensitivity of the mollusk Helix albescens: an increase in the sensitivity to a thermal stimulus is replaced by the development of the hypalgesic effect.

  14. Two distinct roles of the yorkie/yap gene during homeostasis in the planarian Dugesia japonica

    PubMed Central

    Hwang, Byulnim; An, Yang; Agata, Kiyokazu; Umesono, Yoshihiko

    2015-01-01

    Adult planarians possess somatic pluripotent stem cells called neoblasts that give rise to all missing cell types during regeneration and homeostasis. Recent studies revealed that the Yorkie (Yki)/Yes-associated protein (YAP) transcriptional coactivator family plays an important role in the regulation of tissue growth during development and regeneration, and therefore we investigated the role of a planarian yki-related gene (termed Djyki) during regeneration and homeostasis of the freshwater planarian Dugesia japonica. We found that knockdown of the function of Djyki by RNA interference (RNAi) downregulated neoblast proliferation and caused regeneration defects after amputation. In addition, Djyki RNAi caused edema during homeostasis. These seemingly distinct defects induced by Djyki RNAi were rescued by simultaneous RNAi of a planarian mats-related gene (termed Djmats), suggesting an important role of Djmats in the negative regulation of Djyki, in accordance with the conservation of the functional relationship of these two genes during the course of evolution. Interestingly, Djyki RNAi did not prevent normal protonephridial structure, suggesting that Djyki RNAi induced the edema phenotype without affecting the excretory system. Further analyses revealed that increased expression of the D. japonica gene DjaquaporinA (DjaqpA), which belongs to a large gene family that encodes a water channel protein for the regulation of transcellular water flow, promoted the induction of edema, but not defects in neoblast dynamics, in Djyki(RNAi) animals. Thus, we conclude that Djyki plays two distinct roles in the regulation of active proliferation of stem cells and in osmotic water transport across the body surface in D. japonica. PMID:25708270

  15. Expression of vasa(vas)-related genes in germline cells and totipotent somatic stem cells of planarians.

    PubMed

    Shibata, N; Umesono, Y; Orii, H; Sakurai, T; Watanabe, K; Agata, K

    1999-02-01

    Planarians are known for their strong regenerative ability. This ability has been considered to reside in the totipotent somatic stem cell called the "neoblast." Neoblasts contain a unique cytoplasmic structure called the "chromatoid body," which has similar characteristics to the germline granules of germline cells of other animals. The chromatoid bodies decrease in number and size during cytodifferentiation and disappear in completely differentiated cells during regeneration. However, germ cells maintain the chromatoid body during their differentiation from neoblasts. These observations suggest that the chromatoid body is concerned with the totipotency of cells. To understand the molecular nature of the chromatoid body in the neoblast, we focused on vasa (vas)-related genes, since VAS and VAS-related proteins are known to be components of the germline granules in Drosophila and Caenorhabditis elegans. By PCR, two vas-related genes (Dugesia japonica vasa-like gene, DjvlgA and DjvlgB) were isolated, and they were shown to be expressed in germ cells. Interestingly, DjvlgA was also expressed in a number of somatic cells in the mesenchymal space. In regenerating planarians, accumulation of DjvlgA-expressing cells was observed in both the blastema and the blastema-proximal region. In X-ray-irradiated planarians, which had lost regenerative capacity, the number of DjvlgA-expressing cells decreased drastically. These results suggest that the product of DjvlgA may be a component of the chromatoid body and may be involved in the totipotency of the neoblast.

  16. Minimal structural requirements of alkyl γ-lactones capable of antagonizing the cocaine-induced motility decrease in planarians.

    PubMed

    Baker, Debra; Deats, Sean; Boor, Peter; Pruitt, James; Pagán, Oné R

    2011-11-01

    We recently reported that the natural cyclic lactone, parthenolide, and related analogs prevent the expression of behavioral effects induced by cocaine in planarians and that parthenolide's γ-lactone ring is required for this effect. In the present work, we tested a series of alkyl γ-lactones with varying chain length (1-8 carbons) to determine their ability to antagonize the planarian motility decrease induced by 200 μM cocaine. Alkyl lactones with up to a 4-carbon alkyl chain did not affect planarian motility or antagonized the cocaine-induced motility decrease; only the compound γ-nonalactone (a γ-lactone with a 5-carbon chain) was able to prevent the cocaine-induced behavioral patterns, while alkyl lactones with longer carbon chains failed to prevent the cocaine-induced effects. Thus, we conclude that the optimal structural features of this family of compounds to antagonize cocaine's effect in this experimental system is a γ-lactone ring with at a 5-carbon long functional group.

  17. Screening in planarians identifies MORN2 as a key component in LC3-associated phagocytosis and resistance to bacterial infection.

    PubMed

    Abnave, Prasad; Mottola, Giovanna; Gimenez, Gregory; Boucherit, Nicolas; Trouplin, Virginie; Torre, Cedric; Conti, Filippo; Ben Amara, Amira; Lepolard, Catherine; Djian, Benjamin; Hamaoui, Daniel; Mettouchi, Amel; Kumar, Atul; Pagnotta, Sophie; Bonatti, Stefano; Lepidi, Hubert; Salvetti, Alessandra; Abi-Rached, Laurent; Lemichez, Emmanuel; Mege, Jean-Louis; Ghigo, Eric

    2014-09-10

    Dugesia japonica planarian flatworms are naturally exposed to various microbes but typically survive this challenge. We show that planarians eliminate bacteria pathogenic to Homo sapiens, Caenorhabditis elegans, and/or Drosophila melanogaster and thus represent a model to identify innate resistance mechanisms. Whole-transcriptome analysis coupled with RNAi screening of worms infected with Staphylococcus aureus or Legionella pneumophila identified 18 resistance genes with nine human orthologs, of which we examined the function of MORN2. Human MORN2 facilitates phagocytosis-mediated restriction of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, L. pneumophila, and S. aureus in macrophages. MORN2 promotes the recruitment of LC3, an autophagy protein also involved in phagocytosis, to M. tuberculosis-containing phagosomes and subsequent maturation to degradative phagolysosomes. MORN2-driven trafficking of M. tuberculosis to single-membrane, LC3-positive compartments requires autophagy-related proteins Atg5 and Beclin-1, but not Ulk-1 and Atg13, highlighting the importance of MORN2 in LC3-associated phagocytosis. These findings underscore the value of studying planarian defenses to identify immune factors.

  18. Conserved functional antagonism of CELF and MBNL proteins controls stem cell-specific alternative splicing in planarians

    PubMed Central

    Solana, Jordi; Irimia, Manuel; Ayoub, Salah; Orejuela, Marta Rodriguez; Zywitza, Vera; Jens, Marvin; Tapial, Javier; Ray, Debashish; Morris, Quaid; Hughes, Timothy R; Blencowe, Benjamin J; Rajewsky, Nikolaus

    2016-01-01

    In contrast to transcriptional regulation, the function of alternative splicing (AS) in stem cells is poorly understood. In mammals, MBNL proteins negatively regulate an exon program specific of embryonic stem cells; however, little is known about the in vivo significance of this regulation. We studied AS in a powerful in vivo model for stem cell biology, the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. We discover a conserved AS program comprising hundreds of alternative exons, microexons and introns that is differentially regulated in planarian stem cells, and comprehensively identify its regulators. We show that functional antagonism between CELF and MBNL factors directly controls stem cell-specific AS in planarians, placing the origin of this regulatory mechanism at the base of Bilaterians. Knockdown of CELF or MBNL factors lead to abnormal regenerative capacities by affecting self-renewal and differentiation sets of genes, respectively. These results highlight the importance of AS interactions in stem cell regulation across metazoans. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.16797.001 PMID:27502555

  19. Closing the mitochondrial circle on paraphyly of the Monogenea (Platyhelminthes) infers evolution in the diet of parasitic flatworms.

    PubMed

    Perkins, Elizabeth M; Donnellan, Steve C; Bertozzi, Terry; Whittington, Ian D

    2010-09-01

    Relationships between the three classes of Neodermata (parasitic Platyhelminthes) are much debated and restrict our understanding of the evolution of parasitism and contingent adaptations. The historic view of a sister relationship between Cestoda and Monogenea (Cercomeromorphae; larvae bearing posterior hooks) has been dismissed and the weight of evidence against monogenean monophyly has mounted. We present the nucleotide sequence of the complete mitochondrial (mt) genome of Benedenia seriolae (Monogenea: Monopisthocotylea: Capsalidae), the first complete non-gyrodactylid monopisthocotylean mt genome to be reported. We also include nucleotide sequence data for some mt protein coding genes for a second capsalid, Neobenedenia sp. Analyses of the new mt genomes with all available platyhelminth mt genomes provide new phylogenetic hypotheses, which strongly influence perspectives on the evolution of diet in the Neodermata. Our analyses do not support monogenean monophyly but confirm that the Digenea and Cestoda are each monophyletic and sister groups. Epithelial feeding monopisthocotyleans on fish hosts are basal in the Neodermata and represent the first shift to parasitism from free-living ancestors. The next evolutionary step in parasitism was a dietary change from epithelium to blood. The common ancestor of Digenea+Cestoda was monogenean-like and most likely sanguinivorous. From this ancestral condition, adult digeneans and cestodes independently evolved dietary specialisations to suit their diverse microhabitats in their final vertebrate hosts. These improved perspectives on relationships fundamentally enhance our understanding of the evolution of parasitism in the Neodermata and in particular, the evolution of diet.

  20. Septins of Platyhelminths: identification, phylogeny, expression and localization among developmental stages of Schistosoma mansoni.

    PubMed

    Zeraik, Ana E; Rinaldi, Gabriel; Mann, Victoria H; Popratiloff, Anastas; Araujo, Ana P U; Demarco, Ricardo; Brindley, Paul J

    2013-01-01

    Septins are a family of eukaryotic GTP binding proteins conserved from yeasts to humans. Originally identified in mutants of budding yeast, septins participate in diverse cellular functions including cytokinesis, organization of actin networks, cell polarity, vesicle trafficking and many others. Septins assemble into heteroligomers to form filaments and rings. Here, four septins of Schistosoma mansoni are described, which appear to be conserved within the phylum Platyhelminthes. These orthologues were related to the SEPT5, SEPT10 and SEPT7 septins of humans, and hence we have termed the schistosome septins SmSEPT5, SmSEPT10, SmSEPT7.1 and SmSEPT7.2. Septin transcripts were detected throughout the developmental cycle of the schistosome and a similar expression profile was observed for septins in the stages examined, consistent with concerted production of these proteins to form heterocomplexes. Immunolocalization analyses undertaken with antibodies specific for SmSEPT5 and SmSEPT10 revealed a broad tissue distribution of septins in the schistosomulum and colocalization of septin and actin in the longitudinal and circular muscles of the sporocyst. Ciliated epidermal plates of the miracidium were rich in septins. Expression levels for these septins were elevated in germ cells in the miracidium and sporocyst. Intriguingly, septins colocalize with the protonephridial system of the cercaria, which extends laterally along the length of this larval stage. Together, the findings revealed that schistosomes expressed several septins which likely form filaments within the cells, as in other eukaryotes. Identification and localization demonstrating a broad distribution of septins across organs and tissues of schistosome contributes towards the understanding of septins in schistosomes and other flatworms.

  1. Riluzole attenuates the effects of chemoconvulsants acting on glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission in the planarian Dugesia tigrina.

    PubMed

    Ramakrishnan, Latha; Dalhoff, Zachary; Fettig, Samantha L; Eggerichs, Michael R; Nelson, Briegette E; Shrestha, Bibita; Elshikh, Amira H; Karki, Pratima

    2013-10-15

    Planarians, the non-parasitic flatworms, display dose-dependent, distinct (C-like and corkscrew-like) hyperkinesias upon exposure to 0.001-10 mM aqueous solutions of glutamatergic agonists (L-glutamate and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)) and 0.001-5 mM concentrations of the glutamate decarboxylase (GAD) inhibitor (semicarbazide). In the planarian seizure-like activity (PSLA) experiments the three chemoconvulsants displayed the following order of potency (EC50): L-glutamate (0.6mM)>NMDA (1.4 mM)>semicarbazide (4.5mM). Planarian hyperkinesias behavior counting experiments also revealed that riluzole (0.001 to 1mM), an anti-convulsive agent, displayed no significant behavioral activity by itself, but attenuated hyperkinesias elicited by the three chemoconvulsants targeting either glutamatergic or GABAergic neurotransmission with the following order of potency (IC50): NMDA (44.7 µM)>semicarbazide (88.3 µM)>L-glutamate (160 µM). Further, (+)-MK-801, a specific NMDA antagonist, alleviated 3mM NMDA (47%) or 3mM L-glutamate (27%) induced planarian hyperkinesias. The results provide pharmacological evidence for the presence of glutamatergic receptor-like and semicarbazide sensitive functional GAD enzyme-like proteins in planaria in addition to demonstrating, for the first time, the anti-convulsive effects of riluzole in an invertebrate model. High performance liquid chromatography coupled with fluorescence detection (HPLC-F) analysis performed on planarian extracts post no drug treatment (control) or treatment with 3mM semicarbazide, combination of 3mM semicarbazide and 0.1 mM riluzole, or 0.1 mM riluzole revealed that 3 mM semicarbazide induced 35% decrease in the GABA levels and a combination of 3mM semicarbazide and 0.1 mM riluzole induced 42% decrease in glutamate levels with respect to the control group.

  2. Ethanol and cocaine: environmental place conditioning, stereotypy and synergism in planarians

    PubMed Central

    Tallarida, Christopher S.; Bires, Kristopher; Avershal, Jacob; Tallarida, Ronald J.; Seo, Stephanie; Rawls, Scott M.

    2015-01-01

    More than 90% of individuals who use cocaine also report concurrent ethanol use, but only a few studies, all conducted with vertebrates, have investigated pharmacodynamic interactions between ethanol and cocaine. Planaria, a type of flatworm often considered to have the simplest ‘brain’, is an invertebrate species especially amenable to the quantification of drug-induced behavioral responses and identification of conserved responses. Here, we investigated stereotypical and environmental place conditioning (EPC) effects of ethanol administered alone and in combination with cocaine. Planarians displayed concentration-related increases in C-shape movements following exposure to ethanol (0.01 – 1%) (maximal effect: 9.9 ± 1.1 C-shapes/5 min at 0.5%) or cocaine (0.1 – 5 mM) (maximal effect: 42.8 ± 4.1 C-shapes/5 min at 5 mM). For combined administration, cocaine (0.1 – 5 mM) were tested with submaximal ethanol concentrations (0.01, 0,1%), the observed effect for the combination was enhanced compared to its predicted effect, indicating synergism for the interaction. The synergy with ethanol was specific for cocaine, as related experiments revealed that combinations of ethanol and nicotine did not result in synergy. For EPC experiments, ethanol (0.0001 – 1%) concentration-dependently increased EPC, with significant environmental shifts detected at 0.01 and 1%. Cocaine (0.001 – 1 μM) produced an inverted U-shaped concentration-effect curve, with a significant environmental shift observed at 0.01 μM. For combined exposure, variable cocaine concentrations (0.001 – 1 μM) were administered with a statistically ineffective concentration of ethanol (0.0001%). For each concentration of cocaine, the environmental shift was enhanced by ethanol, with significance detected at 1 μM. Cocaethylene, a metabolite of cocaine and ethanol, also produced C-shapes and EPC. Lidocaine (0.001 – 10 μM), an anesthetic and analog of cocaine, did not produce EPC or C

  3. Ethanol and cocaine: environmental place conditioning, stereotypy, and synergism in planarians.

    PubMed

    Tallarida, Christopher S; Bires, Kristopher; Avershal, Jacob; Tallarida, Ronald J; Seo, Stephanie; Rawls, Scott M

    2014-09-01

    More than 90% of individuals who use cocaine also report concurrent ethanol use, but only a few studies, all conducted with vertebrates, have investigated pharmacodynamic interactions between ethanol and cocaine. Planaria, a type of flatworm often considered to have the simplest 'brain,' is an invertebrate species especially amenable to the quantification of drug-induced behavioral responses and identification of conserved responses. Here, we investigated stereotypical and environmental place conditioning (EPC) effects of ethanol administered alone and in combination with cocaine. Planarians displayed concentration-related increases in C-shaped movements following exposure to ethanol (0.01-1%) (maximal effect: 9.9±1.1 C-shapes/5 min at 0.5%) or cocaine (0.1-5 mM) (maximal effect: 42.8±4.1 C-shapes/5 min at 5 mM). For combined administration, cocaine (0.1-5 mM) was tested with submaximal ethanol concentrations (0.01, 0.1%); the observed effect for the combination was enhanced compared to its predicted effect, indicating synergism for the interaction. The synergy with ethanol was specific for cocaine, as related experiments revealed that combinations of ethanol and nicotine did not result in synergy. For EPC experiments, ethanol (0.0001-1%) concentration-dependently increased EPC, with significant environmental shifts detected at 0.01 and 1%. Cocaine (0.001-1 μM) produced an inverted U-shaped concentration-effect curve, with a significant environmental shift observed at 0.01 μM. For combined exposure, variable cocaine concentrations (0.001-1 μM) were administered with a statistically ineffective concentration of ethanol (0.0001%). For each concentration of cocaine, the environmental shift was enhanced by ethanol, with significance detected at 1 μM. Cocaethylene, a metabolite of cocaine and ethanol, also produced C-shapes and EPC. Lidocaine (0.001-10 μM), an anesthetic and analog of cocaine, did not produce EPC or C-shaped movements. Evidence from planarians

  4. Embryonic development of the nervous system in the planarian Schmidtea polychroa.

    PubMed

    Monjo, Francisco; Romero, Rafael

    2015-01-15

    The development of a nervous system is a key innovation in the evolution of metazoans, which is illustrated by the presence of a common developmental toolkit for the formation of this organ system. Neurogenesis in the Spiralia, in particular the Platyhelminthes, is, however, poorly understood when compared with other animal groups. Here, we characterize embryonic neurogenesis in the freshwater flatworm Schmidtea polychroa and analyze the expression of soxB and a set of proneural bHLH genes, which are gene families with a well-established role in metazoan early neural development. We show that the nervous system is fully de novo assembled after the early embryo ingests the maternal nutrients. At early stages of neurogenesis, soxB1 genes are expressed in putative neural progenitor cells, whereas soxB2 and neural bHLH genes (achaete-scute, neuroD and beta3) are associated with late neurogenesis and the specification of neural subpopulations of the central and peripheral nervous system. Our findings are consistent with the role of proneural genes in other bilaterians, suggesting that the ancestral neural-specific gene regulatory network is conserved in triclads, despite exhibiting a divergent mode of development.

  5. Venus kinase receptors control reproduction in the platyhelminth parasite Schistosoma mansoni.

    PubMed

    Vanderstraete, Mathieu; Gouignard, Nadège; Cailliau, Katia; Morel, Marion; Hahnel, Steffen; Leutner, Silke; Beckmann, Svenja; Grevelding, Christoph G; Dissous, Colette

    2014-05-01

    The Venus kinase receptor (VKR) is a single transmembrane molecule composed of an intracellular tyrosine kinase domain close to that of insulin receptor and an extracellular Venus Flytrap (VFT) structure similar to the ligand binding domain of many class C G protein coupled receptors. This receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) was first discovered in the platyhelminth parasite Schistosoma mansoni, then in a large variety of invertebrates. A single vkr gene is found in most genomes, except in S. mansoni in which two genes Smvkr1 and Smvkr2 exist. VKRs form a unique family of RTKs present only in invertebrates and their biological functions are still to be discovered. In this work, we show that SmVKRs are expressed in the reproductive organs of S. mansoni, particularly in the ovaries of female worms. By transcriptional analyses evidence was obtained that both SmVKRs fulfill different roles during oocyte maturation. Suppression of Smvkr expression by RNA interference induced spectacular morphological changes in female worms with a strong disorganization of the ovary, which was dominated by the presence of primary oocytes, and a defect of egg formation. Following expression in Xenopus oocytes, SmVKR1 and SmVKR2 receptors were shown to be activated by distinct ligands which are L-Arginine and calcium ions, respectively. Signalling analysis in Xenopus oocytes revealed the capacity of SmVKRs to activate the PI3K/Akt/p70S6K and Erk MAPK pathways involved in cellular growth and proliferation. Additionally, SmVKR1 induced phosphorylation of JNK (c-Jun N-terminal kinase). Activation of JNK by SmVKR1 was supported by the results of yeast two-hybrid experiments identifying several components of the JNK pathway as specific interacting partners of SmVKR1. In conclusion, these results demonstrate the functions of SmVKR in gametogenesis, and particularly in oogenesis and egg formation. By eliciting signalling pathways potentially involved in oocyte proliferation, growth and migration

  6. Venus Kinase Receptors Control Reproduction in the Platyhelminth Parasite Schistosoma mansoni

    PubMed Central

    Cailliau, Katia; Morel, Marion; Hahnel, Steffen; Leutner, Silke; Beckmann, Svenja; Grevelding, Christoph G.; Dissous, Colette

    2014-01-01

    The Venus Kinase Receptor (VKR) is a single transmembrane molecule composed of an intracellular tyrosine kinase domain close to that of insulin receptor and an extracellular Venus Flytrap (VFT) structure similar to the ligand binding domain of many class C G Protein Coupled Receptors. This receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) was first discovered in the platyhelminth parasite Schistosoma mansoni, then in a large variety of invertebrates. A single vkr gene is found in most genomes, except in S. mansoni in which two genes Smvkr1 and Smvkr2 exist. VKRs form a unique family of RTKs present only in invertebrates and their biological functions are still to be discovered. In this work, we show that SmVKRs are expressed in the reproductive organs of S. mansoni, particularly in the ovaries of female worms. By transcriptional analyses evidence was obtained that both SmVKRs fulfill different roles during oocyte maturation. Suppression of Smvkr expression by RNA interference induced spectacular morphological changes in female worms with a strong disorganization of the ovary, which was dominated by the presence of primary oocytes, and a defect of egg formation. Following expression in Xenopus oocytes, SmVKR1 and SmVKR2 receptors were shown to be activated by distinct ligands which are L-Arginine and calcium ions, respectively. Signalling analysis in Xenopus oocytes revealed the capacity of SmVKRs to activate the PI3K/Akt/p70S6K and Erk MAPK pathways involved in cellular growth and proliferation. Additionally, SmVKR1 induced phosphorylation of JNK (c-Jun N-terminal kinase). Activation of JNK by SmVKR1 was supported by the results of yeast two-hybrid experiments identifying several components of the JNK pathway as specific interacting partners of SmVKR1. In conclusion, these results demonstrate the functions of SmVKR in gametogenesis, and particularly in oogenesis and egg formation. By eliciting signalling pathways potentially involved in oocyte proliferation, growth and migration

  7. Complete sequence of the mitochondrial genome of the tapeworm Hymenolepis diminuta: gene arrangements indicate that Platyhelminths are Eutrochozoans.

    PubMed

    von Nickisch-Rosenegk, M; Brown, W M; Boore, J L

    2001-05-01

    Using "long-PCR," we amplified in overlapping fragments the complete mitochondrial genome of the tapeworm Hymenolepis diminuta (Platyhelminthes: Cestoda) and determined its 13,900-nt sequence. The gene content is the same as that typically found for animal mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) except that atp8 appears to be lacking, a condition found previously for several other animals. Despite the small size of this mtDNA, there are two large noncoding regions, one of which contains 13 repeats of a 31-nt sequence and a potential stem-loop structure of 25 bp with an 11-member loop. Large potential secondary structures were identified also for the noncoding regions of two other cestode mtDNAS: Comparison of the mitochondrial gene arrangement of H. diminuta with those previously published supports a phylogenetic position of flatworms as members of the Eutrochozoa, rather than placing them basal to either a clade of protostomes or a clade of coelomates.

  8. New Acotylea (Polycladida, Platyhelminthes) from the east coast of the North Atlantic Ocean with special mention of the Iberian littoral.

    PubMed

    Noreña, Carolina; Rodríguez, Jorge; Pérez, Jacinto; Almon, Bruno

    2015-11-03

    Polyclad species diversity, although generally well known for European North Atlantic waters, is nearly unknown for the Iberian Peninsula. The "Ría de Arousa", located on the Atlantic coast of Galicia (Spain), is a place where many positive biological factors for species biodiversity converge. Therefore, it is an ideal location to study polyclad diversity. This research, which describes new records and new species, contributes to the knowledge of the distribution of Polycladida (Platyhelminthes), particularly of the suborder Acotylea, in the Atlantic waters of the Iberian Peninsula. The new records include the re-descriptions of Cryptocelis compacta Lang, 1884, Stylochus neapolitanus (Delle Chiaje, 1841-1844) and Discocelis tigrina (Blanchard, 1847), while the two newly described species are Hoploplana elisabelloi n. sp. and Armatoplana celta n. sp.

  9. Hox genes in the parasitic platyhelminthes Mesocestoides corti, Echinococcus multilocularis, and Schistosoma mansoni: evidence for a reduced Hox complement.

    PubMed

    Koziol, Uriel; Lalanne, Ana I; Castillo, Estela

    2009-02-01

    Little is known about the Hox gene complement in parasitic platyhelminthes (Neodermata). With the aim of identifying Hox genes in this group we performed two independent strategies: we performed a PCR survey with degenerate primers directed to the Hox homeobox in the cestode Mesocestoides corti, and we searched genomic assemblies of Echinococcus multilocularis and Schistosoma mansoni. We identified two Hox genes in M. corti, seven in E. multilocularis, and nine in S. mansoni (including five previously reported). The affinities of these sequences, and other previously reported Hox sequences from flatworms, were determined according to phylogenetic analysis, presence of characteristic parapeptide sequences, and unusual intron positions. Our results suggest that the last common ancestor of triclads and neodermatans had a Hox gene complement of at least seven genes, and that this was probably derived by gene loss from a larger ancestral Hox complement in lophotrochozoans.

  10. DrRad51 is required for chiasmata formation in meiosis in planarian Dugesia ryukyuensis.

    PubMed

    Chinone, Ayako; Matsumoto, Midori

    2014-05-01

    Rad51, a conserved eukaryotic protein, mediates the homologous-recombination repair of DNA double-strand breaks that occur during both mitosis and meiosis. During prophase I of meiosis, homologous recombination enhances the linkage between homologous chromosomes to increase the accuracy of segregation at anaphase I. In polyploidy situations, however, difficulties with homologous chromosome segregation often disrupt meiosis. Yet, triploid individuals of the planarian Dugesia ryukyuensis are able to produce functional gametes through a specialized form of meiosis. To shed light on the molecular mechanisms that promote successful meiosis in triploid D. ryukyuensis, we investigated rad51 gene function. We isolated three genes of the Rad51 family, the Rad51 homolog Dr-rad51 and the Rad51 paralogs Dr-rad51B and Dr-rad51C. Dr-rad51 was expressed in germ-line and presumably in somatic stem cells, but was not necessary for the regeneration of somatic tissue. RNA-interference (RNAi) depletion of Dr-rad51 during sexualization did not affect chromosome behavior in zygotene oocytes, but did result in the loss of chiasmata at the diplotene stage. Thus, homologous recombination does not appear to be necessary for synapsis, but is needed for crossover and proper segregation in D. ryukyuensis.

  11. Toxicity of a hazardous chemical mixture in the planarian, Dugesia dorotocephala

    SciTech Connect

    Ramsdell, H.S.; Matthews, C.M.

    1995-12-31

    The responses of the planarian, Dugesia dorotocephala to toxic chemical mixtures representative of water contaminants associated with hazardous waste sites have been studied in laboratory experiments. These free-living flatworms are readily maintained under laboratory conditions and are a useful invertebrate model for toxicology studies. Their widespread occurrence also makes them potentially useful for environmental studies. Mature asexual Dugesia dorotocephala were exposed for 14 days to mixtures of seven contaminants frequently detected in water at hazardous waste sites. The complete 1X mixture contained both metals (As, 3.1 ppm; Cr, 0.7 ppm; Pb, 3.7 ppm) and organics (chloroform, 1.5 ppm; benzene, 5.0 ppm; phenol, 3.4 ppm; trichloroethylene, 3.8 ppm). Groups of planaria were treated with the complete mixture at 0.1X, 1X and 10X concentrations. Additional groups were exposed to the metals-only or organics-only submixtures, also at 0.1X, 1X and 10X concentrations. Treatment solutions were renewed daily. Suppression of fissioning was observed in all of the 1X and 10X treatment groups. Significant mortality occurred only in the 10X complete and 1 0X metals-only treatments. It appears that the toxic effects of the complete mixture are primarily associated with the metal components.

  12. zic-1 Expression in Planarian neoblasts after injury controls anterior pole regeneration.

    PubMed

    Vásquez-Doorman, Constanza; Petersen, Christian P

    2014-07-01

    Mechanisms that enable injury responses to prompt regenerative outgrowth are not well understood. Planarians can regenerate essentially any tissue removed by wounding, even after decapitation, due to robust regulation of adult pluripotent stem cells of the neoblast population. Formation of pole signaling centers involving Wnt inhibitors or Wnt ligands promotes head or tail regeneration, respectively, and this process requires the use of neoblasts early after injury. We used expression profiling of purified neoblasts to identify factors needed for anterior pole formation. Using this approach, we identified zic-1, a Zic-family transcription factor, as transcriptionally activated in a subpopulation of neoblasts near wound sites early in head regeneration. As head regeneration proceeds, the Wnt inhibitor notum becomes expressed in the newly forming anterior pole in zic-1-expressing cells descended from neoblasts. Inhibition of zic-1 by RNAi resulted in a failure to express notum at the anterior pole and to regenerate a head, but did not affect tail regeneration. Both injury and canonical Wnt signaling inhibition are required for zic-1 expression, and double-RNAi experiments suggest zic-1 inhibits Wnt signaling to allow head regeneration. Analysis of neoblast fate determinants revealed that zic-1 controls specification of notum-expressing cells from foxD-expressing neoblasts to form the anterior pole, which organizes subsequent outgrowth. Specialized differentiation programs may in general underlie injury-dependent formation of tissue organizing centers used for regenerative outgrowth.

  13. Reactive Oxygen Species in Planarian Regeneration: An Upstream Necessity for Correct Patterning and Brain Formation.

    PubMed

    Pirotte, Nicky; Stevens, An-Sofie; Fraguas, Susanna; Plusquin, Michelle; Van Roten, Andromeda; Van Belleghem, Frank; Paesen, Rik; Ameloot, Marcel; Cebrià, Francesc; Artois, Tom; Smeets, Karen

    2015-01-01

    Recent research highlighted the impact of ROS as upstream regulators of tissue regeneration. We investigated their role and targeted processes during the regeneration of different body structures using the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea, an organism capable of regenerating its entire body, including its brain. The amputation of head and tail compartments induces a ROS burst at the wound site independently of the orientation. Inhibition of ROS production by diphenyleneiodonium (DPI) or apocynin (APO) causes regeneration defaults at both the anterior and posterior wound sites, resulting in reduced regeneration sites (blastemas) and improper tissue homeostasis. ROS signaling is necessary for early differentiation and inhibition of the ROS burst results in defects on the regeneration of the nervous system and on the patterning process. Stem cell proliferation was not affected, as indicated by histone H3-P immunostaining, fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS), in situ hybridization of smedwi-1, and transcript levels of proliferation-related genes. We showed for the first time that ROS modulate both anterior and posterior regeneration in a context where regeneration is not limited to certain body structures. Our results indicate that ROS are key players in neuroregeneration through interference with the differentiation and patterning processes.

  14. Wnt, Ptk7, and FGFRL expression gradients control trunk positional identity in planarian regeneration.

    PubMed

    Lander, Rachel; Petersen, Christian P

    2016-04-13

    Mechanisms enabling positional identity re-establishment are likely critical for tissue regeneration. Planarians use Wnt/beta-catenin signaling to polarize the termini of their anteroposterior axis, but little is known about how regeneration signaling restores regionalization along body or organ axes. We identify three genes expressed constitutively in overlapping body-wide transcriptional gradients that control trunk-tail positional identity in regeneration. ptk7 encodes a trunk-expressed kinase-dead Wnt co-receptor, wntP-2 encodes a posterior-expressed Wnt ligand, and ndl-3 encodes an anterior-expressed homolog of conserved FGFRL/nou-darake decoy receptors. ptk7 and wntP-2 maintain and allow appropriate regeneration of trunk tissue position independently of canonical Wnt signaling and with suppression of ndl-3 expression in the posterior. These results suggest that restoration of regional identity in regeneration involves the interpretation and re-establishment of axis-wide transcriptional gradients of signaling molecules.

  15. A Generic and Cell-Type-Specific Wound Response Precedes Regeneration in Planarians.

    PubMed

    Wurtzel, Omri; Cote, Lauren E; Poirier, Amber; Satija, Rahul; Regev, Aviv; Reddien, Peter W

    2015-12-07

    Regeneration starts with injury. Yet how injuries affect gene expression in different cell types and how distinct injuries differ in gene expression remain unclear. We defined the transcriptomes of major cell types of planarians--flatworms that regenerate from nearly any injury--and identified 1,214 tissue-specific markers across 13 cell types. RNA sequencing on 619 single cells revealed that wound-induced genes were expressed either in nearly all cell types or specifically in one of three cell types (stem cells, muscle, or epidermis). Time course experiments following different injuries indicated that a generic wound response is activated with any injury regardless of the regenerative outcome. Only one gene, notum, was differentially expressed early between anterior- and posterior-facing wounds. Injury-specific transcriptional responses emerged 30 hr after injury, involving context-dependent patterning and stem-cell-specialization genes. The regenerative requirement of every injury is different; however, our work demonstrates that all injuries start with a common transcriptional response.

  16. Wnt, Ptk7, and FGFRL expression gradients control trunk positional identity in planarian regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Lander, Rachel; Petersen, Christian P

    2016-01-01

    Mechanisms enabling positional identity re-establishment are likely critical for tissue regeneration. Planarians use Wnt/beta-catenin signaling to polarize the termini of their anteroposterior axis, but little is known about how regeneration signaling restores regionalization along body or organ axes. We identify three genes expressed constitutively in overlapping body-wide transcriptional gradients that control trunk-tail positional identity in regeneration. ptk7 encodes a trunk-expressed kinase-dead Wnt co-receptor, wntP-2 encodes a posterior-expressed Wnt ligand, and ndl-3 encodes an anterior-expressed homolog of conserved FGFRL/nou-darake decoy receptors. ptk7 and wntP-2 maintain and allow appropriate regeneration of trunk tissue position independently of canonical Wnt signaling and with suppression of ndl-3 expression in the posterior. These results suggest that restoration of regional identity in regeneration involves the interpretation and re-establishment of axis-wide transcriptional gradients of signaling molecules. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.12850.001 PMID:27074666

  17. A planarian p53 homolog regulates proliferation and self-renewal in adult stem cell lineages.

    PubMed

    Pearson, Bret J; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro

    2010-01-01

    The functions of adult stem cells and tumor suppressor genes are known to intersect. However, when and how tumor suppressors function in the lineages produced by adult stem cells is unknown. With a large population of stem cells that can be manipulated and studied in vivo, the freshwater planarian is an ideal system with which to investigate these questions. Here, we focus on the tumor suppressor p53, homologs of which have no known role in stem cell biology in any invertebrate examined thus far. Planaria have a single p53 family member, Smed-p53, which is predominantly expressed in newly made stem cell progeny. When Smed-p53 is targeted by RNAi, the stem cell population increases at the expense of progeny, resulting in hyper-proliferation. However, ultimately the stem cell population fails to self-renew. Our results suggest that prior to the vertebrates, an ancestral p53-like molecule already had functions in stem cell proliferation control and self-renewal.

  18. Reactive Oxygen Species in Planarian Regeneration: An Upstream Necessity for Correct Patterning and Brain Formation

    PubMed Central

    Pirotte, Nicky; Stevens, An-Sofie; Fraguas, Susanna; Plusquin, Michelle; Van Roten, Andromeda; Van Belleghem, Frank; Paesen, Rik; Ameloot, Marcel; Cebrià, Francesc; Artois, Tom; Smeets, Karen

    2015-01-01

    Recent research highlighted the impact of ROS as upstream regulators of tissue regeneration. We investigated their role and targeted processes during the regeneration of different body structures using the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea, an organism capable of regenerating its entire body, including its brain. The amputation of head and tail compartments induces a ROS burst at the wound site independently of the orientation. Inhibition of ROS production by diphenyleneiodonium (DPI) or apocynin (APO) causes regeneration defaults at both the anterior and posterior wound sites, resulting in reduced regeneration sites (blastemas) and improper tissue homeostasis. ROS signaling is necessary for early differentiation and inhibition of the ROS burst results in defects on the regeneration of the nervous system and on the patterning process. Stem cell proliferation was not affected, as indicated by histone H3-P immunostaining, fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS), in situ hybridization of smedwi-1, and transcript levels of proliferation-related genes. We showed for the first time that ROS modulate both anterior and posterior regeneration in a context where regeneration is not limited to certain body structures. Our results indicate that ROS are key players in neuroregeneration through interference with the differentiation and patterning processes. PMID:26180588

  19. Reproductive mode and ovarian morphology regulation in chimeric planarians composed of asexual and sexual neoblasts.

    PubMed

    Nodono, Hanae; Matsumoto, Midori

    2012-07-01

    Planarians are comprised of populations with different reproductive strategies: exclusively innately asexual (AS), exclusively innately sexual (InS), and seasonally switching. AS worms can be sexualized experimentally by feeding them with minced InS worms, and the resultant worms are characterized as acquired sexual (AqS). Differences between InS and AqS worms are expected to provide important clues to the poorly understood mechanism underlying the regulation of their reproductive mode. Morphological differences were found between InS and AqS worm ovaries, and we showed that the pluripotent stem cells (neoblasts) from InS worms, but not those of AqS worms, have the capacity to initiate the sexual state autonomously via neoblast fraction transplantation. To compare their reproductive mode and ovarian morphology regulation, InS donor neoblast fractions were transplanted into non-lethally X-ray-irradiated AS recipients. All transplants showed stable chimerism and reproduced sexually, suggesting that InS worm neoblasts can initiate sexual state autonomously, even when coexisting with AS worm neoblasts. The chimeras formed extraordinarily large and supernumerary ovaries equivalent to AqS worms, which were not seen in InS worms, suggesting that regulation of ovarian morphology in AS worm-derived cells in response to endogenous sexualizing stimulation distinctly differs from that of InS worms.

  20. zic-1 Expression in Planarian Neoblasts after Injury Controls Anterior Pole Regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Vásquez-Doorman, Constanza; Petersen, Christian P.

    2014-01-01

    Mechanisms that enable injury responses to prompt regenerative outgrowth are not well understood. Planarians can regenerate essentially any tissue removed by wounding, even after decapitation, due to robust regulation of adult pluripotent stem cells of the neoblast population. Formation of pole signaling centers involving Wnt inhibitors or Wnt ligands promotes head or tail regeneration, respectively, and this process requires the use of neoblasts early after injury. We used expression profiling of purified neoblasts to identify factors needed for anterior pole formation. Using this approach, we identified zic-1, a Zic-family transcription factor, as transcriptionally activated in a subpopulation of neoblasts near wound sites early in head regeneration. As head regeneration proceeds, the Wnt inhibitor notum becomes expressed in the newly forming anterior pole in zic-1-expressing cells descended from neoblasts. Inhibition of zic-1 by RNAi resulted in a failure to express notum at the anterior pole and to regenerate a head, but did not affect tail regeneration. Both injury and canonical Wnt signaling inhibition are required for zic-1 expression, and double-RNAi experiments suggest zic-1 inhibits Wnt signaling to allow head regeneration. Analysis of neoblast fate determinants revealed that zic-1 controls specification of notum-expressing cells from foxD-expressing neoblasts to form the anterior pole, which organizes subsequent outgrowth. Specialized differentiation programs may in general underlie injury-dependent formation of tissue organizing centers used for regenerative outgrowth. PMID:24992682

  1. JNK controls the onset of mitosis in planarian stem cells and triggers apoptotic cell death required for regeneration and remodeling.

    PubMed

    Almuedo-Castillo, María; Crespo-Yanez, Xenia; Crespo, Xenia; Seebeck, Florian; Bartscherer, Kerstin; Salò, Emili; Adell, Teresa

    2014-06-01

    Regeneration of lost tissues depends on the precise interpretation of molecular signals that control and coordinate the onset of proliferation, cellular differentiation and cell death. However, the nature of those molecular signals and the mechanisms that integrate the cellular responses remain largely unknown. The planarian flatworm is a unique model in which regeneration and tissue renewal can be comprehensively studied in vivo. The presence of a population of adult pluripotent stem cells combined with the ability to decode signaling after wounding enable planarians to regenerate a complete, correctly proportioned animal within a few days after any kind of amputation, and to adapt their size to nutritional changes without compromising functionality. Here, we demonstrate that the stress-activated c-jun-NH2-kinase (JNK) links wound-induced apoptosis to the stem cell response during planarian regeneration. We show that JNK modulates the expression of wound-related genes, triggers apoptosis and attenuates the onset of mitosis in stem cells specifically after tissue loss. Furthermore, in pre-existing body regions, JNK activity is required to establish a positive balance between cell death and stem cell proliferation to enable tissue renewal, remodeling and the maintenance of proportionality. During homeostatic degrowth, JNK RNAi blocks apoptosis, resulting in impaired organ remodeling and rescaling. Our findings indicate that JNK-dependent apoptotic cell death is crucial to coordinate tissue renewal and remodeling required to regenerate and to maintain a correctly proportioned animal. Hence, JNK might act as a hub, translating wound signals into apoptotic cell death, controlled stem cell proliferation and differentiation, all of which are required to coordinate regeneration and tissue renewal.

  2. JNK Controls the Onset of Mitosis in Planarian Stem Cells and Triggers Apoptotic Cell Death Required for Regeneration and Remodeling

    PubMed Central

    Almuedo-Castillo, María; Crespo, Xenia; Seebeck, Florian; Bartscherer, Kerstin; Salò, Emili; Adell, Teresa

    2014-01-01

    Regeneration of lost tissues depends on the precise interpretation of molecular signals that control and coordinate the onset of proliferation, cellular differentiation and cell death. However, the nature of those molecular signals and the mechanisms that integrate the cellular responses remain largely unknown. The planarian flatworm is a unique model in which regeneration and tissue renewal can be comprehensively studied in vivo. The presence of a population of adult pluripotent stem cells combined with the ability to decode signaling after wounding enable planarians to regenerate a complete, correctly proportioned animal within a few days after any kind of amputation, and to adapt their size to nutritional changes without compromising functionality. Here, we demonstrate that the stress-activated c-jun–NH2–kinase (JNK) links wound-induced apoptosis to the stem cell response during planarian regeneration. We show that JNK modulates the expression of wound-related genes, triggers apoptosis and attenuates the onset of mitosis in stem cells specifically after tissue loss. Furthermore, in pre-existing body regions, JNK activity is required to establish a positive balance between cell death and stem cell proliferation to enable tissue renewal, remodeling and the maintenance of proportionality. During homeostatic degrowth, JNK RNAi blocks apoptosis, resulting in impaired organ remodeling and rescaling. Our findings indicate that JNK-dependent apoptotic cell death is crucial to coordinate tissue renewal and remodeling required to regenerate and to maintain a correctly proportioned animal. Hence, JNK might act as a hub, translating wound signals into apoptotic cell death, controlled stem cell proliferation and differentiation, all of which are required to coordinate regeneration and tissue renewal. PMID:24922054

  3. [Toxic effects of essential oil of Cannabis sativa L. and main constituents on planarian (Dugesia tigrina) (author's transl)].

    PubMed

    Fournier, G; Lenicque, P M; Paris, M R

    1978-11-01

    Regenerating pieces of planarian worms are able to absorbe insoluble substances deposited on the base of the vessels in which they are cultivated. This biological test was used to study the toxic effects of the essential oil of Cannabis sativa L. The hydrocarbons such as pinene (alpha and beta), caryophyllene and so on were not toxic. On the contrary caryophyllene oxide was highly toxic. It was not possible to detect any protection by 5-hydroxytryptamine as it was the case against delta 1-tétrahydro-cannabinol and cannabidiol.

  4. Regeneration-dependent conditional gene knockdown (Readyknock) in planarian: demonstration of requirement for Djsnap-25 expression in the brain for negative phototactic behavior.

    PubMed

    Takano, Tomomi; Pulvers, Jeremy N; Inoue, Takeshi; Tarui, Hiroshi; Sakamoto, Hiroshi; Agata, Kiyokazu; Umesono, Yoshihiko

    2007-06-01

    Freshwater planarians have a simple and evolutionarily primitive brain structure. Here, we identified the Djsnap-25 gene encoding a homolog of the evolutionarily conserved synaptic protein SNAP-25 from the planarian Dugesia japonica and assessed its role in brain function. Djsnap-25 was expressed widely in the nervous system. To investigate the specific role of Djsnap-25 in the brain, we developed a unique technique of RNA interference (RNAi), regeneration-dependent conditional gene knockdown (Readyknock), exploiting the high regenerative capacity of planarians, and succeeded in selectively eliminating the DjSNAP-25 activity in the head region while leaving the DjSNAP-25 activity in the trunk region intact. These knockdown animals showed no effect on brain morphology or on undirected movement of the trunk itself. Light-avoidance behavior or negative phototaxis was used to quantitatively analyze brain function in the knockdown animals. The results suggested that the DjSNAP-25 activity within the head region is required for two independent sensory-processing pathways that regulate locomotive activity and directional movement downstream of distinct primary sensory outputs coming from the head margin and the eyes, respectively, during negative phototaxis. Our approach demonstrates that planarians are a powerful model organism to study the molecular basis of the brain as an information-processing center.

  5. Smed-SmB, a member of the LSm protein superfamily, is essential for chromatoid body organization and planarian stem cell proliferation.

    PubMed

    Fernandéz-Taboada, Enrique; Moritz, Sören; Zeuschner, Dagmar; Stehling, Martin; Schöler, Hans R; Saló, Emili; Gentile, Luca

    2010-04-01

    Planarians are an ideal model system to study in vivo the dynamics of adult pluripotent stem cells. However, our knowledge of the factors necessary for regulating the 'stemness' of the neoblasts, the adult stem cells of planarians, is sparse. Here, we report on the characterization of the first planarian member of the LSm protein superfamily, Smed-SmB, which is expressed in stem cells and neurons in Schmidtea mediterranea. LSm proteins are highly conserved key players of the splicing machinery. Our study shows that Smed-SmB protein, which is localized in the nucleus and the chromatoid body of stem cells, is required to safeguard the proliferative ability of the neoblasts. The chromatoid body, a cytoplasmatic ribonucleoprotein complex, is an essential regulator of the RNA metabolism required for the maintenance of metazoan germ cells. However, planarian neoblasts and neurons also rely on its functions. Remarkably, Smed-SmB dsRNA-mediated knockdown results in a rapid loss of organization of the chromatoid body, an impairment of the ability to post-transcriptionally process the transcripts of Smed-CycB, and a severe proliferative failure of the neoblasts. This chain of events leads to a quick depletion of the neoblast pool, resulting in a lethal phenotype for both regenerating and intact animals. In summary, our results suggest that Smed-SmB is an essential component of the chromatoid body, crucial to ensure a proper RNA metabolism and essential for stem cell proliferation.

  6. A LIM-homeobox gene is required for differentiation of Wnt-expressing cells at the posterior end of the planarian body.

    PubMed

    Hayashi, Tetsutaro; Motoishi, Minako; Yazawa, Shigenobu; Itomi, Kazu; Tanegashima, Chiharu; Nishimura, Osamu; Agata, Kiyokazu; Tarui, Hiroshi

    2011-09-01

    Planarians have high regenerative ability, which is dependent on pluripotent adult somatic stem cells called neoblasts. Recently, canonical Wnt/β-catenin signaling was shown to be required for posterior specification, and Hedgehog signaling was shown to control anterior-posterior polarity via activation of the Djwnt1/P-1 gene at the posterior end of planarians. Thus, various signaling molecules play an important role in planarian stem cell regulation. However, the molecular mechanisms directly involved in stem cell differentiation have remained unclear. Here, we demonstrate that one of the planarian LIM-homeobox genes, Djislet, is required for the differentiation of Djwnt1/P-1-expressing cells from stem cells at the posterior end. RNA interference (RNAi)-treated planarians of Djislet [Djislet(RNAi)] show a tail-less phenotype. Thus, we speculated that Djislet might be involved in activation of the Wnt signaling pathway in the posterior blastema. When we carefully examined the expression pattern of Djwnt1/P-1 by quantitative real-time PCR during posterior regeneration, we found two phases of Djwnt1/P-1 expression: the first phase was detected in the differentiated cells in the old tissue in the early stage of regeneration and then a second phase was observed in the cells derived from stem cells in the posterior blastema. Interestingly, Djislet is expressed in stem cell-derived DjPiwiA- and Djwnt1/P-1-expressing cells, and Djislet(RNAi) only perturbed the second phase. Thus, we propose that Djislet might act to trigger the differentiation of cells expressing Djwnt1/P-1 from stem cells.

  7. In vivo and in vitro metabolism of tobacco-specific nitrosamine, 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK), by the freshwater planarian, Dugesia japonica.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jui-Pin; Li, Mei-Hui; Chen, Jhih-Sheng; Lee, Hui-Ling

    2012-06-01

    Cigarette smoke is a risk factor for human health, and many studies were conducted to investigate its adverse effects on humans and other mammals. However, since large amounts of cigarette products are produced and consumed, it is possible that tobacco chemicals can end up in aquatic environments through several routes, thus influencing aquatic organisms. In this study, the presence of tobacco-specific nitrosamine (TSNA), 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK), in aquatic environment was demonstrated. Since toxic effects on and distribution patterns of tobacco chemicals in aquatic organisms were rarely studied, after results of an acute toxicity pretest were obtained, experiment was conducted to investigate the bioaccumulation pattern of NNK and distribution patterns of its metabolites, mainly 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanol (NNAL), in NNK-treated freshwater planarians, Dugesia japonica. Results from in vivo and in vitro studies showed that NNK was readily converted to NNAL through the carbonyl reduction in bodies of NNK-treated planarians. Tissue concentrations of both chemicals increased in time- and dose-dependent manners. Furthermore, we examined the end products of NNK/NNAL α-hydroxylation in NNK-treated planarians, but only 1-(3-pyridyl)-1,4-butanediol was detected, suggesting that NNK metabolism in planarians partially differs from that in mammalian systems. This is the first report on NNK metabolism in an aquatic organism and can be used as a foundation for developing freshwater planarians as a new in vivo model for the study of NNK toxicology in the future.

  8. Identification of HECT E3 ubiquitin ligase family genes involved in stem cell regulation and regeneration in planarians.

    PubMed

    Henderson, Jordana M; Nisperos, Sean V; Weeks, Joi; Ghulam, Mahjoobah; Marín, Ignacio; Zayas, Ricardo M

    2015-08-15

    E3 ubiquitin ligases constitute a large family of enzymes that modify specific proteins by covalently attaching ubiquitin polypeptides. This post-translational modification can serve to regulate protein function or longevity. In spite of their importance in cell physiology, the biological roles of most ubiquitin ligases remain poorly understood. Here, we analyzed the function of the HECT domain family of E3 ubiquitin ligases in stem cell biology and tissue regeneration in planarians. Using bioinformatic searches, we identified 17 HECT E3 genes that are expressed in the Schmidtea mediterranea genome. Whole-mount in situ hybridization experiments showed that HECT genes were expressed in diverse tissues and most were expressed in the stem cell population (neoblasts) or in their progeny. To investigate the function of all HECT E3 ligases, we inhibited their expression using RNA interference (RNAi) and determined that orthologs of huwe1, wwp1, and trip12 had roles in tissue regeneration. We show that huwe1 RNAi knockdown led to a significant expansion of the neoblast population and death by lysis. Further, our experiments showed that wwp1 was necessary for both neoblast and intestinal tissue homeostasis as well as uncovered an unexpected role of trip12 in posterior tissue specification. Taken together, our data provide insights into the roles of HECT E3 ligases in tissue regeneration and demonstrate that planarians will be a useful model to evaluate the functions of E3 ubiquitin ligases in stem cell regulation.

  9. Stem cells from innate sexual but not acquired sexual planarians have the capability to form a sexual individual.

    PubMed

    Nodono, Hanae; Ishino, Yugo; Hoshi, Motonori; Matsumoto, Midori

    2012-11-01

    Planarian species may harbor as many as three populations with different reproductive strategies. Animals from innate asexual (AS) and innate sexual (InS) populations reproduce only by fission and cross-fertilization, respectively, whereas the third population switches seasonally between the two reproductive modes. AS worms can be experimentally sexualized by feeding them with minced InS worms; we termed the resulting animals "acquired sexual" (AqS) worms. Both AqS and InS worms exhibit sexualizing activity when used as feed, suggesting that they maintain their sexual state via endogenous sexualizing substances, although the mechanisms underlying determination of reproductive strategy and sexual switching in these metazoans remain enigmatic. Therefore, we compared the endogenous sexualizing activity of InS worms and AqS worms. First, we amputated mature worms and assessed if they could re-enter a sexual state. Regenerants of InS worms, but not AqS worms, were only sexual, indicating that sexual state regulation comprises two steps: (1) autonomous initiation of sexualizing substance production and (2) maintenance of the sexual state by continuous production of sexualizing substances. Next, InS neoblasts were characterized by transplantation, finding that they successfully engrafted, proliferated, and replaced all recipient cells. Under such conditions, the AS recipients of InS worm neoblasts, but not those of AqS worms, became sexual. These results clearly show that there is a neoblast-autonomous determination of reproductive strategy in planarians.

  10. The Mi-2-like Smed-CHD4 gene is required for stem cell differentiation in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea.

    PubMed

    Scimone, M Lucila; Meisel, Joshua; Reddien, Peter W

    2010-04-01

    Freshwater planarians are able to regenerate any missing part of their body and have extensive tissue turnover because of the action of dividing cells called neoblasts. Neoblasts provide an excellent system for in vivo study of adult stem cell biology. We identified the Smed-CHD4 gene, which is predicted to encode a chromatin-remodeling protein similar to CHD4/Mi-2 proteins, as required for planarian regeneration and tissue homeostasis. Following inhibition of Smed-CHD4 with RNA interference (RNAi), neoblast numbers were initially normal, despite an inability of the animals to regenerate. However, the proliferative response of neoblasts to amputation or growth stimulation in Smed-CHD4(RNAi) animals was diminished. Smed-CHD4(RNAi) animals displayed a dramatic reduction in the numbers of certain neoblast progeny cells. Smed-CHD4 was required for the formation of these neoblast progeny cells. Together, these results indicate that Smed-CHD4 is required for neoblasts to produce progeny cells committed to differentiation in order to control tissue turnover and regeneration and suggest a crucial role for CHD4 proteins in stem cell differentiation.

  11. Wnt/Notum spatial feedback inhibition controls neoblast differentiation to regulate reversible growth of the planarian brain

    PubMed Central

    Hill, Eric M.; Petersen, Christian P.

    2015-01-01

    Mechanisms determining final organ size are poorly understood. Animals undergoing regeneration or ongoing adult growth are likely to require sustained and robust mechanisms to achieve and maintain appropriate sizes. Planarians, well known for their ability to undergo whole-body regeneration using pluripotent adult stem cells of the neoblast population, can reversibly scale body size over an order of magnitude by controlling cell number. Using quantitative analysis, we showed that after injury planarians perfectly restored brain:body proportion by increasing brain cell number through epimorphosis or decreasing brain cell number through tissue remodeling (morphallaxis), as appropriate. We identified a pathway controlling a brain size set-point that involves feedback inhibition between wnt11-6/wntA/wnt4a and notum, encoding conserved antagonistic signaling factors expressed at opposite brain poles. wnt11-6/wntA/wnt4a undergoes feedback inhibition through canonical Wnt signaling but is likely to regulate brain size in a non-canonical pathway independently of beta-catenin-1 and APC. Wnt/Notum signaling tunes numbers of differentiated brain cells in regenerative growth and tissue remodeling by influencing the abundance of brain progenitors descended from pluripotent stem cells, as opposed to regulating cell death. These results suggest that the attainment of final organ size might be accomplished by achieving a balance of positional signaling inputs that regulate the rates of tissue production. PMID:26525673

  12. The identification of ᴅ-tryptophan as a bioactive substance for postembryonic ovarian development in the planarian Dugesia ryukyuensis

    PubMed Central

    Kobayashi, Kazuya; Maezawa, Takanobu; Tanaka, Hiroyuki; Onuki, Hiroyuki; Horiguchi, Yurie; Hirota, Hiroshi; Ishida, Tetsuo; Horiike, Kihachiro; Agata, Yasutoshi; Aoki, Manabu; Hoshi, Motonori; Matsumoto, Midori

    2017-01-01

    Many metazoans start germ cell development during embryogenesis, while some metazoans possessing pluripotent stem cells undergo postembryonic germ cell development. The latter reproduce asexually but develop germ cells from pluripotent stem cells or dormant primordial germ cells when they reproduce sexually. Sexual induction of the planarian Dugesia ryukyuensis is an important model for postembryonic germ cell development. In this experimental system, hermaphroditic reproductive organs are differentiated in presumptive gonadal regions by the administration of a crude extract from sexual planarians to asexual ones. However, the substances involved in the first event during postembryonic germ cell development, i.e., ovarian development, remain unknown. Here, we aimed to identify a bioactive compound associated with postembryonic ovarian development. Bioassay-guided fractionation identified ʟ-tryptophan (Trp) on the basis of electrospray ionization–mass spectrometry, circular dichroism, and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Originally masked by a large amount of ʟ-Trp, ᴅ-Trp was detected by reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography. The ovary-inducing activity of ᴅ-Trp was 500 times more potent than that of ʟ-Trp. This is the first report describing a role for an intrinsic ᴅ-amino acid in postembryonic germ cell development. Our findings provide a novel insight into the mechanisms of germ cell development regulated by low-molecular weight bioactive compounds. PMID:28338057

  13. A wound-induced Wnt expression program controls planarian regeneration polarity.

    PubMed

    Petersen, Christian P; Reddien, Peter W

    2009-10-06

    Regeneration requires specification of the identity of new tissues to be made. Whether this process relies only on intrinsic regulative properties of regenerating tissues or whether wound signaling provides input into tissue repatterning is not known. The head-versus-tail regeneration polarity decision in planarians, which requires Wnt signaling, provides a paradigm to study the process of tissue identity specification during regeneration. The Smed-wntP-1 gene is required for regeneration polarity and is expressed at the posterior pole of intact animals. Surprisingly, wntP-1 was expressed at both anterior- and posterior-facing wounds rapidly after wounding. wntP-1 expression was induced by all types of wounds examined, regardless of whether wounding prompted tail regeneration. Regeneration polarity was found to require new expression of wntP-1. Inhibition of the wntP-2 gene enhanced the polarity phenotype due to wntP-1 inhibition, with new expression of wntP-2 in regeneration occurring subsequent to expression of wntP-1 and localized only to posterior-facing wounds. New expression of wntP-2 required wound-induced wntP-1. Finally, wntP-1 and wntP-2 expression changes occurred even in the absence of neoblast stem cells, which are required for regeneration, suggesting that the role of these genes in polarity is independent of and instructive for tail formation. These data indicate that wound-induced input is involved in resetting the normal polarized features of the body axis during regeneration.

  14. Modeling Planarian Regeneration: A Primer for Reverse-Engineering the Worm

    PubMed Central

    Lobo, Daniel; Beane, Wendy S.; Levin, Michael

    2012-01-01

    A mechanistic understanding of robust self-assembly and repair capabilities of complex systems would have enormous implications for basic evolutionary developmental biology as well as for transformative applications in regenerative biomedicine and the engineering of highly fault-tolerant cybernetic systems. Molecular biologists are working to identify the pathways underlying the remarkable regenerative abilities of model species that perfectly regenerate limbs, brains, and other complex body parts. However, a profound disconnect remains between the deluge of high-resolution genetic and protein data on pathways required for regeneration, and the desired spatial, algorithmic models that show how self-monitoring and growth control arise from the synthesis of cellular activities. This barrier to progress in the understanding of morphogenetic controls may be breached by powerful techniques from the computational sciences—using non-traditional modeling approaches to reverse-engineer systems such as planaria: flatworms with a complex bodyplan and nervous system that are able to regenerate any body part after traumatic injury. Currently, the involvement of experts from outside of molecular genetics is hampered by the specialist literature of molecular developmental biology: impactful collaborations across such different fields require that review literature be available that presents the key functional capabilities of important biological model systems while abstracting away from the often irrelevant and confusing details of specific genes and proteins. To facilitate modeling efforts by computer scientists, physicists, engineers, and mathematicians, we present a different kind of review of planarian regeneration. Focusing on the main patterning properties of this system, we review what is known about the signal exchanges that occur during regenerative repair in planaria and the cellular mechanisms that are thought to underlie them. By establishing an engineering

  15. Weak extremely-low-frequency magnetic field-induced regeneration anomalies in the planarian, Dugesia tigrina

    SciTech Connect

    Jenrow, K.A.; Smith, C.H.; Liboff, A.R.

    1996-12-31

    The authors recently reported that cephalic regeneration in the planarian Dugesia tigrina was significantly delayed in populations exposed continuously to combined parallel DC and AC magnetic fields. This effect was consistent with hypotheses suggesting an underlying resonance phenomenon. The authors report here, in a parallel series of investigations on the same model system, that the incidence of regeneration anomalies presenting as tumor-like protuberances also increases significantly (P < .001) in association with exposure to weak 60 Hz magnetic fields, with peak intensities ranging between 1.0 and 80.0 {micro}T. These anomalies often culminate in the complete disaggregation of the organism. Similar to regeneration rate effects, the incidence of regeneration anomalies is specifically dependent upon the planaria possessing a fixed orientation with respect to the applied magnetic field vectors. However, unlike the regeneration rate effects, the AC magnetic field alone, in the absence of any measurable DC field, is capable of producing these anomalies. Moreover, the incidence of regeneration anomalies follows a clear dose-response relationship as a function of AC magnetic field intensity, with the threshold for induced electric field intensity estimated at 5 {micro} V/m. The addition of either 51.1 or 78.4 {micro}T DC magnetic fields, applied in parallel combination with the AC field, enhances the appearance of anomalies relative to the 60 Hz AC field alone, but only at certain AC field intensities. Thus, whereas the previous study of regeneration rate effects appeared to involve exclusively resonance interactions, the regeneration anomalies reported here appear to result primarily from Faraday induction coupling.

  16. No Evidence for a Culturable Bacterial Tetrodotoxin Producer in Pleurobranchaea maculata (Gastropoda: Pleurobranchidae) and Stylochoplana sp. (Platyhelminthes: Polycladida)

    PubMed Central

    Salvitti, Lauren R.; Wood, Susanna A.; McNabb, Paul; Cary, Stephen Craig

    2015-01-01

    Tetrodotoxin (TTX) is a potent neurotoxin found in the tissues of many taxonomically diverse organisms. Its origin has been the topic of much debate, with suggestions including endogenous production, acquisition through diet, and symbiotic bacterial synthesis. Bacterial production of TTX has been reported in isolates from marine biota, but at lower than expected concentrations. In this study, 102 strains were isolated from Pleurobranchaea maculata (Opisthobranchia) and Stylochoplana sp. (Platyhelminthes). Tetrodotoxin production was tested utilizing a recently developed sensitive method to detect the C9 base of TTX via liquid chromatography—mass spectrometry. Bacterial strains were characterized by sequencing a region of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene. To account for the possibility that TTX is produced by a consortium of bacteria, a series of experiments using marine broth spiked with various P. maculata tissues were undertaken. Sixteen unique strains from P. maculata and one from Stylochoplana sp. were isolated, representing eight different genera; Pseudomonadales, Actinomycetales, Oceanospirillales, Thiotrichales, Rhodobacterales, Sphingomonadales, Bacillales, and Vibrionales. Molecular fingerprinting of bacterial communities from broth experiments showed little change over the first four days. No C9 base or TTX was detected in isolates or broth experiments (past day 0), suggesting a culturable microbial source of TTX in P. maculata and Stylochoplana sp. is unlikely. PMID:25635464

  17. A new genus and species for the first recorded cave-dwelling Cavernicola (Platyhelminthes) from South America

    PubMed Central

    Leal-Zanchet, Ana Maria; de Souza, Stella Teles; Ferreira, Rodrigo Lopes

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Species diversity of Brazilian cave fauna has been seriously underestimated. A karst area located in Felipe Guerra, northeastern Brazil, which is a hotspot of subterranean diversity in Brazil, has revealed more than 20 troglobitic species, most of them still undescribed. Based on recent samplings in this karst area, we document the occurrence of the suborder Cavernicola (Platyhelminthes) in South American hypogean environments for the first time and describe a new genus and species for this suborder. Hausera Leal-Zanchet & Souza, gen. n. has features concordant with those defined for the family Dimarcusidae. The new genus is characterized by two unique features, viz. an intestine extending dorsally to the brain and ovovitelline ducts located dorsally to the nerve cords, which is complemented by a combination of other characters. The type-specimens of Hausera hauseri Leal-Zanchet & Souza, sp. n. are typical stygobionts, unpigmented and eyeless, and they may constitute an oceanic relict as is the case of other stygobiotic invertebrates found in this karst area in northeastern Brazil. PMID:25349486

  18. Taxonomy of Cotylea (Platyhelminthes: Polycladida) from Cabo Frio, southeastern Brazil, with the description of a new species.

    PubMed

    Bahia, Juliana; Padula, Vinicius; Lavrado, Helena Passeri; Quiroga, Sigmer

    2014-10-20

    Polyclads are free-living Platyhelminthes with a simple, dorsoventrally flattened body and a much ramified intestine. In Brazil, 66 species are reported; only three from Rio de Janeiro State (RJ). The main objective of this study is to describe and illustrate coloration pattern, external morphology, reproductive system morphology and, when possible, biological and ecological aspects of species of the suborder Cotylea found in Cabo Frio, RJ. Of the 13 cotylean polyclad species found, Pseudobiceros pardalis, Cycloporus variegatus and Eurylepta aurantiaca are new records from the Brazilian coast and one species is new to science, Pseudoceros juani sp. nov. Feeding observations were made of four species. It is the first time that Lurymare utarum, Cycloporus gabriellae, C. variegatus and E. aurantiaca are illustrated with digital photographs of live specimens and histological preparations. This study increases to 70 the number of Brazilian Polycladida and to 14 the number of species known from Rio de Janeiro State. However, the knowledge about Polycladida in Brazil still has gaps, with great parts of the coast remaining unsampled. 

  19. No evidence for a culturable bacterial tetrodotoxin producer in Pleurobranchaea maculata (Gastropoda: Pleurobranchidae) and Stylochoplana sp. (Platyhelminthes: Polycladida).

    PubMed

    Salvitti, Lauren R; Wood, Susanna A; McNabb, Paul; Cary, Stephen Craig

    2015-01-28

    Tetrodotoxin (TTX) is a potent neurotoxin found in the tissues of many taxonomically diverse organisms. Its origin has been the topic of much debate, with suggestions including endogenous production, acquisition through diet, and symbiotic bacterial synthesis. Bacterial production of TTX has been reported in isolates from marine biota, but at lower than expected concentrations. In this study, 102 strains were isolated from Pleurobranchaea maculata (Opisthobranchia) and Stylochoplana sp. (Platyhelminthes). Tetrodotoxin production was tested utilizing a recently developed sensitive method to detect the C9 base of TTX via liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Bacterial strains were characterized by sequencing a region of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene. To account for the possibility that TTX is produced by a consortium of bacteria, a series of experiments using marine broth spiked with various P. maculata tissues were undertaken. Sixteen unique strains from P. maculata and one from Stylochoplana sp. were isolated, representing eight different genera; Pseudomonadales, Actinomycetales, Oceanospirillales, Thiotrichales, Rhodobacterales, Sphingomonadales, Bacillales, and Vibrionales. Molecular fingerprinting of bacterial communities from broth experiments showed little change over the first four days. No C9 base or TTX was detected in isolates or broth experiments (past day 0), suggesting a culturable microbial source of TTX in P. maculata and Stylochoplana sp. is unlikely.

  20. State of knowledge of the Acotylea (Polycladida, Platyhelminthes) from the Mediterranean coasts of Spain: new records and new species.

    PubMed

    Marquina, Daniel; Osca, David; Rodríguez, Jorge; Fernández-Despiau, Estrella; Noreña, Carolina

    2014-03-20

    Along the Mediterranean coast of the Iberian Peninsula, great species diversity is thought to exist, but our knowledge of Iberian polyclads is, in fact, very limited. This study contributes to the Polycladida (Platyhelminthes) of the Iberian Peninsula, in particular those of the Mediterranean coast. Nine species, mainly new species or new records, are described. Imogine stellae sp. nov. from Mar Menor (Murcia, Spain) is described, while I. mediterranea Galleni, 1976 is recorded for the first time in Spain. The genus Planocera Blainville, 1828 within the Mediterranean basin is reviewed: Planocera graffi Lang, 1879 is redescribed, and its synonymisation with Planocera pellucida (Mertens, 1833) considered. Also, the genus Notoplanella Bock, 1931 is represented by two species in Spain, N. inarmata Bock, 1931 type species, from Formentera Island and N. estelae sp. nov., from Mar Menor. Trigonoporus cephalophtalmus Lang, 1884 is rediscovered after the description of Lang (1884). Stylochus neapolitanus (Delle Chiaje, 1841-1844) Lang, 1884 is recorded and S. pilidium (Goette, 1881) is also redescribed, and Leptoplana mediterranea (Bock, 1913) is newly recorded for the Iberian Peninsula.

  1. Suppression of the tapeworm order Pseudophyllidea (Platyhelminthes: Eucestoda) and the proposal of two new orders, Bothriocephalidea and Diphyllobothriidea.

    PubMed

    Kuchta, R; Scholz, T; Brabec, J; Bray, R A

    2008-01-01

    Pseudophyllidea van Beneden in Carus, 1863, a well recognised order of tapeworms (Platyhelminthes: Eucestoda), is suppressed because it is composed of two phylogenetically unrelated groups, for which the new names Bothriocephalidea and Diphyllobothriidea are proposed. The new orders differ from each other in the following characters: (i) position of the genital pore: on the dorsal, dorso-lateral or lateral aspects and posterior to the ventral uterine pore in the Bothriocephalidea versus on the ventral aspect of segments and anterior to the uterine pore in the Diphyllobothriidea; (ii) the presence of a muscular external seminal vesicle in the Diphyllobothriidea, which is absent in the Bothriocephalidea; (iii) the presence of a uterine sac in the Bothriocephalidea, which is absent in the Diphyllobothriidea; and (iv) the spectrum of definitive hosts: mainly teleost fishes, never homoiothermic vertebrates in the Bothriocephalidea, versus tetrapods, most frequently mammals, in the Diphyllobothriidea, with species of Diphyllobothrium, Spirometra and Diplogonoporus parasitic in humans. The Diphyllobothriidea, which includes 17 genera in four families (Digramma is synonymised with Ligula), is associated with cestode groups that have a range of plesiomorphic characters (Haplobothriidea and Caryophyllidea), whereas the Bothriocephalidea, consisting of 41 genera grouped in four families, is the sister-group to the 'acetabulate' or 'tetrafossate' cestodes, which are generally regarded as having derived characters.

  2. Evolution of ITS1 rDNA in the Digenea (Platyhelminthes: trematoda): 3' end sequence conservation and its phylogenetic utility.

    PubMed

    vd Schulenburg, J H; Englisch, U; Wägele, J W

    1999-01-01

    A comparison of ribosomal internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1) elements of digenetic trematodes (Platyhelminthes) including unidentified digeneans isolated from Cyathura carinata (Crustacea: Isopoda) revealed DNA sequence similarities at more than half of the spacer at its 3' end. Primary sequence similarity was shown to be associated with secondary structure conservation, which suggested that similarity is due to identity by descent and not chance. Using an analysis of apomorphies, the sequence data were shown to produce a distinct phylogenetic signal. This was confirmed by the consistency of results of different tree reconstruction methods such as distance approaches, maximum parsimony, and maximum likelihood. Morphological evidence additionally supported the phylogenetic tree based on ITS1 data and the inferred phylogenetic position of the unidentified digeneans of C. carinata met the expectations from known trematode life-cycle patterns. Although ribosomal ITS1 elements are generally believed to be too variable for phylogenetic analysis above the species or genus level, the overall consistency of the results of this study strongly suggests that this is not the case in digenetic trematodes. Here, 3' end ITS1 sequence data seem to provide a valuable tool for elucidating phylogenetic relationships of a broad range of phylogenetically distinct taxa.

  3. Complete Sequence of the mitochondrial genome of the tapeworm Hymenolepis diminuta: Gene arrangements indicate that platyhelminths are eutrochozoans

    SciTech Connect

    von Nickisch-Rosenegk, Markus; Brown, Wesley M.; Boore, Jeffrey L.

    2001-01-01

    Using ''long-PCR'' we have amplified in overlapping fragments the complete mitochondrial genome of the tapeworm Hymenolepis diminuta (Platyhelminthes: Cestoda) and determined its 13,900 nucleotide sequence. The gene content is the same as that typically found for animal mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) except that atp8 appears to be lacking, a condition found previously for several other animals. Despite the small size of this mtDNA, there are two large non-coding regions, one of which contains 13 repeats of a 31 nucleotide sequence and a potential stem-loop structure of 25 base pairs with an 11-member loop. Large potential secondary structures are identified also for the non-coding regions of two other cestode mtDNAs. Comparison of the mitochondrial gene arrangement of H. diminuta with those previously published supports a phylogenetic position of flatworms as members of the Eutrochozoa, rather than being basal to either a clade of protostomes or a clade of coelomates.

  4. A chemical genetics approach reveals H,K-ATPase-mediated membrane voltage is required for planarian head regeneration.

    PubMed

    Beane, Wendy S; Morokuma, Junji; Adams, Dany S; Levin, Michael

    2011-01-28

    Biophysical signaling is required for both embryonic polarity and regenerative outgrowth. Exploiting endogenous ion transport for regenerative therapies will require direct regulation of membrane voltage. Here, we develop a pharmacological method to target ion transporters, uncovering a role for membrane voltage as a key regulator of anterior polarity in regenerating planaria. Utilizing the highly specific inhibitor, SCH-28080, our data reveal that H(+),K(+)-ATPase-mediated membrane depolarization is essential for anterior gene expression and brain induction. H(+),K(+)-ATPase-independent manipulation of membrane potential with ivermectin confirms that depolarization drives head formation, even at posterior-facing wounds. Using this chemical genetics approach, we demonstrate that membrane voltage controls head-versus-tail identity during planarian regeneration. Our data suggest well-characterized drugs (already approved for human use) might be exploited to control adult stem cell-driven pattern formation during the regeneration of complex structures.

  5. Planarian homologs of netrin and netrin receptor are required for proper regeneration of the central nervous system and the maintenance of nervous system architecture.

    PubMed

    Cebrià, Francesc; Newmark, Phillip A

    2005-08-01

    Conserved axon guidance mechanisms are essential for proper wiring of the nervous system during embryogenesis; however, the functions of these cues in adults and during regeneration remain poorly understood. Because freshwater planarians can regenerate a functional central nervous system (CNS) from almost any portion of their body, they are useful models in which to study the roles of guidance cues during neural regeneration. Here, we characterize two netrin homologs and one netrin receptor family member from Schmidtea mediterranea. RNAi analyses indicate that Smed-netR (netrin receptor) and Smed-netrin2 are required for proper CNS regeneration and that Smed-netR may mediate the response to Smed-netrin2. Remarkably, Smed-netR and Smed-netrin2 are also required in intact planarians to maintain the proper patterning of the CNS. These results suggest a crucial role for guidance cues, not only in CNS regeneration but also in maintenance of neural architecture.

  6. [New occurrences of metacercariae of Austrodiplostomum compactum (Lutz, 1928) (Platyhelminthes: Digenea) eye flukes of fish from the Paraná Basin].

    PubMed

    Yamada, Fábio Hideki; Moreira, Luis Henrique De A; Ceschini, Tiago L; Takemoto, Ricardo Massato; Pavanelli, Gilberto Cezar

    2008-01-01

    Austrodiplostomum compactum (Platyhelminthes, Digenea) eye flukes of several species of fishes. The presence of this parasite, in extreme cases, can cause swelling of the eyelids, displacement of the retina, opacity of the crystalline lens and blindness or even death. The present study it registers new occurrences of this metacercariae infecting the eyes of four new hosts of fish, Serrasalmus maculatus collected in the Rosana reservoir in the Paranapanema river and Hypostomus regani, Schizodon borellii and Auchenipterus osteomystax collected in the the Upper Paraná River floodplain.

  7. Ameliorating effect of chloride on nitrite toxicity to freshwater invertebrates with different physiology: a comparative study between amphipods and planarians.

    PubMed

    Alonso, A; Camargo, J A

    2008-02-01

    High nitrite concentrations in freshwater ecosystems may cause toxicity to aquatic animals. These living organisms can take nitrite up from water through their chloride cells, subsequently suffering oxidation of their respiratory pigments (hemoglobin, hemocyanin). Because NO(2)(-) and Cl(-) ions compete for the same active transport site, elevated chloride concentrations in the aquatic environment have the potential of reducing nitrite toxicity. Although this ameliorating effect is well documented in fish, it has been largely ignored in wild freshwater invertebrates. The aim of this study was to compare the ameliorating effect of chloride on nitrite toxicity to two species of freshwater invertebrates differing in physiology: Eulimnogammarus toletanus (amphipods) and Polycelis felina (planarians). The former species presents gills (with chloride cells) and respiratory pigments, whereas in the latter species these are absent. Test animals were exposed in triplicate for 168 h to a single nitrite concentration (5 ppm NO(2)-N for E. toletanus and 100 ppm NO(2)-N for P. felina) at four different environmental chloride concentrations (27.8, 58.3, 85.3, and 108.0 ppm Cl(-)). The number of dead animals and the number of affected individuals (i.e., number of dead plus inactive invertebrates) were monitored every day. LT(50) (lethal time) and ET(50) (effective time) were estimated for each species and each chloride concentration. LT(50) and ET(50) values increased with increases in the environmental chloride concentration, mainly in amphipods. Results clearly show that the ameliorating effect of chloride on nitrite toxicity was more significant in amphipods than in planarians, likely because of the absence of gills (with chloride cells) and respiratory pigments in P. felina. Additionally, this comparative study indicates that the ecological risk assessment of nitrite in freshwater ecosystems should take into account not only the most sensitive and key species in the

  8. Genome-wide analysis of the bHLH gene family in planarians identifies factors required for adult neurogenesis and neuronal regeneration.

    PubMed

    Cowles, Martis W; Brown, David D R; Nisperos, Sean V; Stanley, Brianna N; Pearson, Bret J; Zayas, Ricardo M

    2013-12-01

    In contrast to most well-studied model organisms, planarians have a remarkable ability to completely regenerate a functional nervous system from a pluripotent stem cell population. Thus, planarians provide a powerful model to identify genes required for adult neurogenesis in vivo. We analyzed the basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) family of transcription factors, many of which are crucial for nervous system development and have been implicated in human diseases. However, their potential roles in adult neurogenesis or central nervous system (CNS) function are not well understood. We identified 44 planarian bHLH homologs, determined their patterns of expression in the animal and assessed their functions using RNAi. We found nine bHLHs expressed in stem cells and neurons that are required for CNS regeneration. Our analyses revealed that homologs of coe, hes (hesl-3) and sim label progenitors in intact planarians, and following amputation we observed an enrichment of coe(+) and sim(+) progenitors near the wound site. RNAi knockdown of coe, hesl-3 or sim led to defects in CNS regeneration, including failure of the cephalic ganglia to properly pattern and a loss of expression of distinct neuronal subtype markers. Together, these data indicate that coe, hesl-3 and sim label neural progenitor cells, which serve to generate new neurons in uninjured or regenerating animals. Our study demonstrates that this model will be useful to investigate how stem cells interpret and respond to genetic and environmental cues in the CNS and to examine the role of bHLH transcription factors in adult tissue regeneration.

  9. The CCR4-NOT complex mediates deadenylation and degradation of stem cell mRNAs and promotes planarian stem cell differentiation.

    PubMed

    Solana, Jordi; Gamberi, Chiara; Mihaylova, Yuliana; Grosswendt, Stefanie; Chen, Chen; Lasko, Paul; Rajewsky, Nikolaus; Aboobaker, A Aziz

    2013-01-01

    Post-transcriptional regulatory mechanisms are of fundamental importance to form robust genetic networks, but their roles in stem cell pluripotency remain poorly understood. Here, we use freshwater planarians as a model system to investigate this and uncover a role for CCR4-NOT mediated deadenylation of mRNAs in stem cell differentiation. Planarian adult stem cells, the so-called neoblasts, drive the almost unlimited regenerative capabilities of planarians and allow their ongoing homeostatic tissue turnover. While many genes have been demonstrated to be required for these processes, currently almost no mechanistic insight is available into their regulation. We show that knockdown of planarian Not1, the CCR4-NOT deadenylating complex scaffolding subunit, abrogates regeneration and normal homeostasis. This abrogation is primarily due to severe impairment of their differentiation potential. We describe a stem cell specific increase in the mRNA levels of key neoblast genes after Smed-not1 knock down, consistent with a role of the CCR4-NOT complex in degradation of neoblast mRNAs upon the onset of differentiation. We also observe a stem cell specific increase in the frequency of longer poly(A) tails in these same mRNAs, showing that stem cells after Smed-not1 knock down fail to differentiate as they accumulate populations of transcripts with longer poly(A) tails. As other transcripts are unaffected our data hint at a targeted regulation of these key stem cell mRNAs by post-transcriptional regulators such as RNA-binding proteins or microRNAs. Together, our results show that the CCR4-NOT complex is crucial for stem cell differentiation and controls stem cell-specific degradation of mRNAs, thus providing clear mechanistic insight into this aspect of neoblast biology.

  10. The CCR4-NOT Complex Mediates Deadenylation and Degradation of Stem Cell mRNAs and Promotes Planarian Stem Cell Differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Solana, Jordi; Gamberi, Chiara; Mihaylova, Yuliana; Grosswendt, Stefanie; Chen, Chen; Lasko, Paul; Rajewsky, Nikolaus; Aboobaker, A. Aziz

    2013-01-01

    Post-transcriptional regulatory mechanisms are of fundamental importance to form robust genetic networks, but their roles in stem cell pluripotency remain poorly understood. Here, we use freshwater planarians as a model system to investigate this and uncover a role for CCR4-NOT mediated deadenylation of mRNAs in stem cell differentiation. Planarian adult stem cells, the so-called neoblasts, drive the almost unlimited regenerative capabilities of planarians and allow their ongoing homeostatic tissue turnover. While many genes have been demonstrated to be required for these processes, currently almost no mechanistic insight is available into their regulation. We show that knockdown of planarian Not1, the CCR4-NOT deadenylating complex scaffolding subunit, abrogates regeneration and normal homeostasis. This abrogation is primarily due to severe impairment of their differentiation potential. We describe a stem cell specific increase in the mRNA levels of key neoblast genes after Smed-not1 knock down, consistent with a role of the CCR4-NOT complex in degradation of neoblast mRNAs upon the onset of differentiation. We also observe a stem cell specific increase in the frequency of longer poly(A) tails in these same mRNAs, showing that stem cells after Smed-not1 knock down fail to differentiate as they accumulate populations of transcripts with longer poly(A) tails. As other transcripts are unaffected our data hint at a targeted regulation of these key stem cell mRNAs by post-transcriptional regulators such as RNA-binding proteins or microRNAs. Together, our results show that the CCR4-NOT complex is crucial for stem cell differentiation and controls stem cell-specific degradation of mRNAs, thus providing clear mechanistic insight into this aspect of neoblast biology. PMID:24367277

  11. Molecular markers for X-ray-insensitive differentiated cells in the Inner and outer regions of the mesenchymal space in planarian Dugesia japonica.

    PubMed

    Teramoto, Machiko; Kudome-Takamatsu, Tomomi; Nishimura, Osamu; An, Yang; Kashima, Makoto; Shibata, Norito; Agata, Kiyokazu

    2016-09-01

    Planarian's strong regenerative ability is dependent on stem cells (called neoblasts) that are X-ray-sensitive and proliferative stem cells. In addition to neoblasts, another type of X-ray-sensitive cells was newly identified by recent research. Thus, planarian's X-ray-sensitive cells can be divided into at least two populations, Type 1 and Type 2, the latter corresponding to planarian's classically defined "neoblasts". Here, we show that Type 1 cells were distributed in the outer region (OR) immediately underneath the muscle layer at all axial levels from head to tail, while the Type 2 cells were distributed in a more internal region (IR) of the mesenchymal space at the axial levels from neck to tail. To elucidate the biological significance of these two regions, we searched for genes expressed in differentiated cells that were locate close to these X-ray-sensitive cell populations in the mesenchymal space, and identified six genes mainly expressed in the OR or IR, named OR1, OR2, OR3, IR1, IR2 and IR3. The predicted amino acid sequences of these genes suggested that differentiated cells expressing OR1, OR3, IR1, or IR2 provide Type 1 and Type 2 cells with specific extracellular matrix (ECM) environments.

  12. Transcription factors lhx1/5-1 and pitx are required for the maintenance and regeneration of serotonergic neurons in planarians.

    PubMed

    Currie, Ko W; Pearson, Bret J

    2013-09-01

    In contrast to most adult organisms, freshwater planarians can regenerate any injured body part, including their entire nervous system. This allows for the analysis of genes required for both the maintenance and regeneration of specific neural subtypes. In addition, the loss of specific neural subtypes may uncover previously unknown behavioral roles for that neural population in the context of the adult animal. Here we show that two homeodomain transcription factor homologs, Smed-lhx1/5-1 and Smed-pitx, are required for the maintenance and regeneration of serotonergic neurons in planarians. When either lhx1/5-1 or pitx was knocked down by RNA interference, the expression of multiple canonical markers for serotonergic neurons was lost. Surprisingly, the loss of serotonergic function uncovered a role for these neurons in the coordination of motile cilia on the ventral epidermis of planarians that are required for their nonmuscular gliding locomotion. Finally, we show that in addition to its requirement in serotonergic neurons, Smed-pitx is required for proper midline patterning during regeneration, when it is required for the expression of the midline-organizing molecules Smed-slit in the anterior and Smed-wnt1 in the posterior.

  13. Diversity, specificity and speciation in larval Diplostomidae (Platyhelminthes: Digenea) in the eyes of freshwater fish, as revealed by DNA barcodes.

    PubMed

    Locke, Sean A; Al-Nasiri, Fatima S; Caffara, Monica; Drago, Fabiana; Kalbe, Martin; Lapierre, Angela Rose; McLaughlin, J Daniel; Nie, Pin; Overstreet, Robin M; Souza, Geza T R; Takemoto, Ricardo M; Marcogliese, David J

    2015-11-01

    Larvae (metacercariae) in some species of Diplostomidae (Platyhelminthes: Digenea) inhabit fish eyes and are difficult to identify to species based on morphology. DNA barcoding has clarified the diversity and life cycles of diplostomids in North America, Europe and Africa, but has seldom been used in parasites sampled in large numbers or at large spatial scales. Here, distance-based analysis of cytochrome c oxidase 1 barcodes and, in some specimens, internal transcribed spacer (ITS-1, 5.8S, ITS-2) sequences was performed for over 2000 diplostomids from Africa, the Middle East, Europe, Asia and the Americas. Fifty-two species of Diplostomum, Tylodelphys and Austrodiplostomum (Digenea: Diplostomidae) were distinguished. The 52 species comprise 12 identified species, six species in two species complexes and 34 putative species, and 33/52 had been delineated in previous studies. Most (23/40) of the unidentified, putative species distinguished by cytochrome c oxidase 1 distances were supported by at least one additional line of evidence. As the intensity of sampling of the 52 species increased, variation in cytochrome c oxidase 1 decreased between and increased within species, while the spatial scale at which species were sampled had no effect. Nonetheless, variation between species always exceeded variation within species. New life-cycle linkages, geographic and host records, and genetic data were recorded in several species, including Tylodelphys jenynsiae, Tylodelphys immer and Diplostomum ardeae. Species of Diplostomum inhabiting the lens are less host-specific and less numerous than those infecting other tissues, suggesting that reduced immune activity in the lens has influenced rates of speciation.

  14. Physiological controls of large‐scale patterning in planarian regeneration: a molecular and computational perspective on growth and form

    PubMed Central

    Durant, Fallon; Lobo, Daniel; Hammelman, Jennifer

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Planaria are complex metazoans that repair damage to their bodies and cease remodeling when a correct anatomy has been achieved. This model system offers a unique opportunity to understand how large‐scale anatomical homeostasis emerges from the activities of individual cells. Much progress has been made on the molecular genetics of stem cell activity in planaria. However, recent data also indicate that the global pattern is regulated by physiological circuits composed of ionic and neurotransmitter signaling. Here, we overview the multi‐scale problem of understanding pattern regulation in planaria, with specific focus on bioelectric signaling via ion channels and gap junctions (electrical synapses), and computational efforts to extract explanatory models from functional and molecular data on regeneration. We present a perspective that interprets results in this fascinating field using concepts from dynamical systems theory and computational neuroscience. Serving as a tractable nexus between genetic, physiological, and computational approaches to pattern regulation, planarian pattern homeostasis harbors many deep insights for regenerative medicine, evolutionary biology, and engineering. PMID:27499881

  15. A forkhead transcription factor is wound-induced at the planarian midline and required for anterior pole regeneration.

    PubMed

    Scimone, M Lucila; Lapan, Sylvain W; Reddien, Peter W

    2014-01-01

    Planarian regeneration requires positional information to specify the identity of tissues to be replaced as well as pluripotent neoblasts capable of differentiating into new cell types. We found that wounding elicits rapid expression of a gene encoding a Forkhead-family transcription factor, FoxD. Wound-induced FoxD expression is specific to the ventral midline, is regulated by Hedgehog signaling, and is neoblast-independent. FoxD is subsequently expressed within a medial subpopulation of neoblasts at wounds involving head regeneration. Ultimately, FoxD is co-expressed with multiple anterior markers at the anterior pole. Inhibition of FoxD with RNA interference (RNAi) results in the failure to specify neoblasts expressing anterior markers (notum and prep) and in anterior pole formation defects. FoxD(RNAi) animals fail to regenerate a new midline and to properly pattern the anterior blastema, consistent with a role for the anterior pole in organizing pattern of the regenerating head. Our results suggest that wound signaling activates a forkhead transcription factor at the midline and, if the head is absent, FoxD promotes specification of neoblasts at the prior midline for anterior pole regeneration.

  16. [Effect of the extremely weak alternating magnetic fields on the regeneration of planarians and the gravitropic response of plants].

    PubMed

    Belova, N A; Ermakov, A M; Znobishcheva, A V; Skrebnitskaia, L K; Lednev, V V

    2010-01-01

    The influence of extremely weak alternating magnetic fields (EW AMF) directed colinearly to the static Earth magnetic field on the rate of regeneration of planarians and the rate of gravitropic response in the stem segments of flax has been studied. The value of bioeffects of EW AMF is determined by the parameter gamma B(AC)/f, where y is the gyromagnetic ratio of the magnetic moments induced by the orbital movements of electrons in atoms, and B(AC) and f correspond to magnetic induction and frequency of the alternating magnetic component. It was shown that the magnitude of bioeffects depends on the amplitude (at fixed 1000 Hz - frequency) and frequency (at fixed 192 nT - amplitude) of the alternating component. Maxima of bioeffects are observed at gamma B(AC)/f = 0.9; 2.75, and minor maxima gamma B(AC)/f = 4.5; 6.1. The bioeffects are absent at gamma B(AC)/f = 1.8, 3.8, 5.3, 6.7. The positions of the maxima and minima of bioeffects correspond to the theoretical prediction (at gamma = 14000 Hz/microT). Primary targets for the EW AMF of this type are the magnetic moments induced by the orbital movements of electrons in atoms.

  17. A Bmp/Admp regulatory circuit controls maintenance and regeneration of dorsal-ventral polarity in planarians.

    PubMed

    Gaviño, Michael A; Reddien, Peter W

    2011-02-22

    Animal embryos have diverse anatomy and vary greatly in size. It is therefore remarkable that a common signaling pathway, BMP signaling, controls development of the dorsoventral (DV) axis throughout the Bilateria. In vertebrates, spatially opposed expression of the BMP family proteins Bmp4 and Admp (antidorsalizing morphogenetic protein) can promote restoration of DV pattern following tissue removal. bmp4 orthologs have been identified in all three groups of the Bilateria (deuterostomes, ecdysozoans, and lophotrochozoans). By contrast, the absence of admp orthologs in ecdysozoans such as Drosophila and C. elegans has suggested that a regulatory circuit of oppositely expressed bmp4 and admp genes represents a deuterostome-specific innovation. Here we describe the existence of spatially opposed bmp and admp expression in a protostome. An admp ortholog (Smed-admp) is expressed ventrally and laterally in adult Schmidtea mediterranea planarians, opposing the dorsal-pole expression of Smed-bmp4. Smed-admp is required for regeneration following parasagittal amputation. Furthermore, Smed-admp promotes Smed-bmp4 expression and Smed-bmp4 inhibits Smed-admp expression, generating a regulatory circuit that buffers against perturbations of Bmp signaling. These results suggest that a Bmp/Admp regulatory circuit is a central feature of the Bilateria, used broadly for the establishment, maintenance, and regeneration of the DV axis.

  18. Stem cell-dependent formation of a functional anterior regeneration pole in planarians requires Zic and Forkhead transcription factors.

    PubMed

    Vogg, Matthias C; Owlarn, Suthira; Pérez Rico, Yuvia A; Xie, Jianlei; Suzuki, Yoko; Gentile, Luca; Wu, Wei; Bartscherer, Kerstin

    2014-06-15

    Planarians can regenerate their head within days. This process depends on the direction of adult stem cells to wound sites and the orchestration of their progenitors to commit to appropriate lineages and to arrange into patterned tissues. We identified a zinc finger transcription factor, Smed-ZicA, as a downstream target of Smed-FoxD, a Forkhead transcription factor required for head regeneration. Smed-zicA and Smed-FoxD are co-expressed with the Wnt inhibitor notum and the Activin inhibitor follistatin in a cluster of cells at the anterior-most tip of the regenerating head - the anterior regeneration pole - and in surrounding stem cell progeny. Depletion of Smed-zicA and Smed-FoxD by RNAi abolishes notum and follistatin expression at the pole and inhibits head formation downstream of initial polarity decisions. We suggest a model in which ZicA and FoxD transcription factors synergize to control the formation of Notum- and Follistatin-producing anterior pole cells. Pole formation might constitute an early step in regeneration, resulting in a signaling center that orchestrates cellular events in the growing tissue.

  19. The pioneer factor Smed-gata456-1 is required for gut cell differentiation and maintenance in planarians.

    PubMed

    González-Sastre, Alejandro; De Sousa, Nídia; Adell, Teresa; Saló, Emili

    2017-01-01

    How adult stem cells differentiate into different cell types remains one of the most intriguing questions in regenerative medicine. Pioneer factors are transcription factors that can bind to and open chromatin, and are among the first elements involved in cell differentiation. We used the freshwater planarian Schmidtea mediterranea as a model system to study the role of the gata456 family of pioneer factors in gut cell differentiation during both regeneration and maintenance of the digestive system. Our findings reveal the presence of two members of the gata456 family in the Schmidtea mediterranea genome; Smed-gata456-1 and Smed-gata456-2. Our results show that Smed-gata456-1 is the only ortholog with a gut cell-related function. Smed-gata456-1 is essential for the differentiation of precursors into intestinal cells and for the survival of these differentiated cells, indicating a key role in gut regeneration and maintenance. Furthermore, tissues other than the gut appear normal following Smed-gata456-1 RNA interference (RNAi), indicating a gut-specific function. Importantly, different neoblast subtypes are unaffected by Smed-gata456-1(RNAi), suggesting that 1) Smed-gata456-1 is involved in the differentiation and maintenance, but not in the early determination, of gut cells; and 2) that the stem cell compartment is not dependent on a functional gut.

  20. A forkhead Transcription Factor Is Wound-Induced at the Planarian Midline and Required for Anterior Pole Regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Scimone, M. Lucila; Lapan, Sylvain W.; Reddien, Peter W.

    2014-01-01

    Planarian regeneration requires positional information to specify the identity of tissues to be replaced as well as pluripotent neoblasts capable of differentiating into new cell types. We found that wounding elicits rapid expression of a gene encoding a Forkhead-family transcription factor, FoxD. Wound-induced FoxD expression is specific to the ventral midline, is regulated by Hedgehog signaling, and is neoblast-independent. FoxD is subsequently expressed within a medial subpopulation of neoblasts at wounds involving head regeneration. Ultimately, FoxD is co-expressed with multiple anterior markers at the anterior pole. Inhibition of FoxD with RNA interference (RNAi) results in the failure to specify neoblasts expressing anterior markers (notum and prep) and in anterior pole formation defects. FoxD(RNAi) animals fail to regenerate a new midline and to properly pattern the anterior blastema, consistent with a role for the anterior pole in organizing pattern of the regenerating head. Our results suggest that wound signaling activates a forkhead transcription factor at the midline and, if the head is absent, FoxD promotes specification of neoblasts at the prior midline for anterior pole regeneration. PMID:24415944

  1. egr-4, a target of EGFR signaling, is required for the formation of the brain primordia and head regeneration in planarians.

    PubMed

    Fraguas, Susanna; Barberán, Sara; Iglesias, Marta; Rodríguez-Esteban, Gustavo; Cebrià, Francesc

    2014-05-01

    During the regeneration of freshwater planarians, polarity and patterning programs play essential roles in determining whether a head or a tail regenerates at anterior or posterior-facing wounds. This decision is made very soon after amputation. The pivotal role of the Wnt/β-catenin and Hh signaling pathways in re-establishing anterior-posterior (AP) polarity has been well documented. However, the mechanisms that control the growth and differentiation of the blastema in accordance with its AP identity are less well understood. Previous studies have described a role of Smed-egfr-3, a planarian epidermal growth factor receptor, in blastema growth and differentiation. Here, we identify Smed-egr-4, a zinc-finger transcription factor belonging to the early growth response gene family, as a putative downstream target of Smed-egfr-3. Smed-egr-4 is mainly expressed in the central nervous system and its silencing inhibits anterior regeneration without affecting the regeneration of posterior regions. Single and combinatorial RNA interference to target different elements of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway, together with expression analysis of brain- and anterior-specific markers, revealed that Smed-egr-4: (1) is expressed in two phases - an early Smed-egfr-3-independent phase and a late Smed-egfr-3-dependent phase; (2) is necessary for the differentiation of the brain primordia in the early stages of regeneration; and (3) that it appears to antagonize the activity of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway to allow head regeneration. These results suggest that a conserved EGFR/egr pathway plays an important role in cell differentiation during planarian regeneration and indicate an association between early brain differentiation and the proper progression of head regeneration.

  2. Molecular characterization of Gastrothylax crumenifer (Platyhelminthes: Gastrothylacidae) from goats in the western part of India by LSU of nuclear ribosomal DNA.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Ashwani; Chaudhary, Anshu; Verma, Chandni; Singh, Hridaya Shanker

    2014-12-01

    The rumen parasite, Gastrothylax crumenifer (Platyhelminthes: Gastrothylacidae), is a highly pathogenic trematode parasite of goat (Capra hircus). It sucks blood that causes acute disease like anemia, and severe economic losses occur due to morbidity and mortality of the ruminant infected by these worms. The study of these rumen paramphistomes, their infection, and public health importance remains unclear in India especially in the western part of state Uttar Pradesh (U.P.), Meerut, India, where the goat meat consumption is very high. This paper provides the molecular characterization of G. crumenifer recovered from the rumen of Capra hircus from Meerut, U.P., India by the partial sequence of 28S rDNA. Nucleotide sequence similarity searching on BLAST of 28S rDNA from parasites showed the highest identity with those of G. crumenifer from the same host Capra hircus. This is the first report of molecular identification of G. crumenifer from this part of India.

  3. Molecular Characterization of Gastrothylax crumenifer (Platyhelminthes: Gastrothylacidae) from Goats in the Western Part of India by LSU of Nuclear Ribosomal DNA

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Ashwani; Verma, Chandni; Singh, Hridaya Shanker

    2014-01-01

    The rumen parasite, Gastrothylax crumenifer (Platyhelminthes: Gastrothylacidae), is a highly pathogenic trematode parasite of goat (Capra hircus). It sucks blood that causes acute disease like anemia, and severe economic losses occur due to morbidity and mortality of the ruminant infected by these worms. The study of these rumen paramphistomes, their infection, and public health importance remains unclear in India especially in the western part of state Uttar Pradesh (U.P.), Meerut, India, where the goat meat consumption is very high. This paper provides the molecular characterization of G. crumenifer recovered from the rumen of Capra hircus from Meerut, U.P., India by the partial sequence of 28S rDNA. Nucleotide sequence similarity searching on BLAST of 28S rDNA from parasites showed the highest identity with those of G. crumenifer from the same host Capra hircus. This is the first report of molecular identification of G. crumenifer from this part of India. PMID:25548426

  4. First report of the genus Cratera (Platyhelminthes, Geoplanidae) in Argentina, with description of a new species and comments on the species of the genus

    PubMed Central

    Negrete, Lisandro; Brusa, Francisco

    2016-01-01

    Abstract A new species of land planarians of the genus Cratera is described. Cratera viridimaculata sp. n. was recorded in the Atlantic Forest Ecoregion, in north-eastern Argentina, and represents the first report of the genus Cratera outside Brazil. The new species is about 50 mm in length and externally characterized by a color pattern consisting of a light green olive pigmentation on the dorsum, stippled with dark gray fine spots, and dorsal eyes. Other features regarding the internal anatomy are the presence of a glandular margin, Cutaneous Muscular Index (CMI) of 10–13%, pharynx cylindrical, prostatic vesicle extrabulbar, tubular and C-shaped, with a proximal bifurcated portion, penis papilla protrusible with ejaculatory duct widened in its distal portion, and female atrium funnel-shaped. The new species is compared and discussed with its congeners. PMID:27587974

  5. The beta-lactam antibiotic ceftriaxone inhibits physical dependence and abstinence-induced withdrawal from cocaine, amphetamine, methamphetamine, and clorazepate in planarians.

    PubMed

    Rawls, Scott M; Cavallo, Federica; Capasso, Anna; Ding, Zhe; Raffa, Robert B

    2008-04-28

    Ceftriaxone (a beta-lactam antibiotic) has recently been identified as having the rare ability to increase the expression and functional activity of the glutamate transporter subtype 1 (GLT-1) in rat spinal cord cultures. GLT-1 has been implicated in diverse neurological disorders and in opioid dependence and withdrawal. It has been speculated that it might also be involved in the physical dependence and withdrawal of other abused drugs, but demonstration of this property can be difficult in mammalian models. Here, we demonstrate for the first time using a planarian model that ceftriaxone attenuates both the development of physical dependence and abstinence-induced withdrawal from cocaine, amphetamine, methamphetamine, and a benzodiazepine (clorazepate) in a concentration-related manner. These results suggest that physical dependence and withdrawal from several drugs involve a common - beta-lactam-sensitive - mechanism in planarians. If these findings can be shown to extend to mammals, beta-lactam antibiotics might represent a novel pharmacotherapy or adjunct approach for treating drug abuse or serve as a template for drug discovery efforts aimed at treating drug abuse, recovery from drug abuse, or ameliorating the withdrawal from chronic use of therapeutic medications.

  6. cDNA cloning of heat shock protein 90 gene and protein expression pattern in response to heavy metal exposure and thermal stress in planarian Dugesia japonica.

    PubMed

    Ma, Ke-Xue; Chen, Guang-Wen; Liu, De-Zeng

    2012-06-01

    Heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) is an abundant and highly conserved molecular chaperone, playing important roles in multiple cellular stress responses. The full-length cDNA of planarian Dugesia japonica Hsp90 (designated DjHsp90) was firstly cloned using rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) techniques. It is 2,354 bp, including an open reading frame (ORF) of 2,148 bp encoding a polypeptide of 715 amino acids with all five HSP90 family signatures. We sequenced the ORF sequences from genomic DNA, and found only one intron (48 bp) existed in Djhsp90 gene structure. We used western blot and immunohistochemistry to analyze the expression pattern of DjHsp90 in response to heavy metal exposure and thermal stress at the protein level. Our results show that low doses of heavy metals and elevated culture temperature induced, but high doses of heavy metals and severe heat shock inhibited DjHsp90 expression. In response to heavy metals and thermal stress, DjHsp90-positive cells only appeared in the parenchymal tissue under epidermis cells along the bilateral from head to tail. These positive cells are presumably sensor cells that can detect external environment changes. Our work provides basic data for the study of stress responses in planarians.

  7. Transfection of Platyhelminthes

    PubMed Central

    Moguel, Bárbara; Bobes, Raúl J.; Carrero, Julio C.; Laclette, Juan P.

    2015-01-01

    Flatworms are one of the most diverse groups within Lophotrochozoa with more than 20,000 known species, distributed worldwide in different ecosystems, from the free-living organisms in the seas and lakes to highly specialized parasites living in a variety of hosts, including humans. Several infections caused by flatworms are considered major neglected diseases affecting countries in the Americas, Asia, and Africa. For several decades, a particular interest on free-living flatworms was due to their ability to regenerate considerable portions of the body, implying the presence of germ cells that could be important for medicine. The relevance of reverse genetics for this group is clear; understanding the phenotypic characteristics of specific genes will shed light on developmental traits of free-living and parasite worms. The genetic manipulation of flatworms will allow learning more about the mechanisms for tissue regeneration, designing new and more effective anthelmintic drugs, and explaining the host-parasite molecular crosstalk so far partially inaccessible for experimentation. In this review, availability of transfection techniques is analyzed across flatworms, from the initial transient achievements to the stable manipulations now developed for free-living and parasite species. PMID:26090388

  8. Transfection of Platyhelminthes.

    PubMed

    Moguel, Bárbara; Bobes, Raúl J; Carrero, Julio C; Laclette, Juan P

    2015-01-01

    Flatworms are one of the most diverse groups within Lophotrochozoa with more than 20,000 known species, distributed worldwide in different ecosystems, from the free-living organisms in the seas and lakes to highly specialized parasites living in a variety of hosts, including humans. Several infections caused by flatworms are considered major neglected diseases affecting countries in the Americas, Asia, and Africa. For several decades, a particular interest on free-living flatworms was due to their ability to regenerate considerable portions of the body, implying the presence of germ cells that could be important for medicine. The relevance of reverse genetics for this group is clear; understanding the phenotypic characteristics of specific genes will shed light on developmental traits of free-living and parasite worms. The genetic manipulation of flatworms will allow learning more about the mechanisms for tissue regeneration, designing new and more effective anthelmintic drugs, and explaining the host-parasite molecular crosstalk so far partially inaccessible for experimentation. In this review, availability of transfection techniques is analyzed across flatworms, from the initial transient achievements to the stable manipulations now developed for free-living and parasite species.

  9. Heterogeneity of ouabain binding sites in Schistosoma mansoni. First evidence for the presence of two (Na+ + K+)-ATPase isoforms in platyhelminths.

    PubMed

    Pardon, R S; Noël, F

    1994-01-20

    Binding experiments with [3H]ouabain were performed to investigate the presence of (Na+ + K+)-ATPase (EC3.6.1.3) isoforms in adult male Schistosoma mansoni, the trematode responsible for human schistosomiasis. Non-linear regression analysis of equilibrium experiments performed with homogenates in a Mg-Pi medium indicated the presence of about 10% (Bmax = 223 +/- 67 fmol/mg protein) high-affinity sites (KD = 0.285 +/- 0.045 microM) and 90% (Bmax = 2117 +/- 348 fmol/mg protein) sites with a 20-fold lower affinity (KD = 4.9 +/- 1.28 microM). This was confirmed by their-exponential decay of [3H]ouabain dissociation. Furthermore, determination of association and dissociation rate constants indicated that the two classes of binding sites differed by their dissociation rate constants for ouabain (k-1 = 0.0185 +/- 0.0019 min-1 and 0.0997 +/- 0.0528 min-1 for high- and low-affinity sites, respectively). Surprisingly, the association rate constant measured for ouabain binding to S. mansoni homogenate (0.038 microM-1.min-1) was lower (25- to 80-fold) than the one usually observed for mammalian enzymes. This is the first direct evidence for the existence of (Na+ + K+)-ATPase isoforms in platyhelminths, invertebrates of great importance from the phylogenetic point of view.

  10. Substitution saturation and nuclear paralogs of commonly employed phylogenetic markers in the Caryophyllidea, an unusual group of non-segmented tapeworms (Platyhelminthes).

    PubMed

    Brabec, Jan; Scholz, Tomáš; Králová-Hromadová, Ivica; Bazsalovicsová, Eva; Olson, Peter D

    2012-01-01

    Caryophyllidean cestodes (Platyhelminthes) represent an unusual group of tapeworms lacking serially repeated body parts that potentially diverged from the common ancestor of the Eucestoda prior to the evolution of segmentation. Here we evaluate the utility of two nuclear and two mitochondrial molecular markers (ssrDNA and lsrDNA, nad3 and cox1) for use in circumscribing generic boundaries and estimating interrelationships in the group. We show that these commonly employed markers do not contain sufficient signal to infer well-supported phylogenetic estimates due to substitution saturation. Moreover, we detected multiple trnK+nad3+trnS+trnW+cox1 haplotypes within individuals, indicating a history of gene exchange between the mitochondrial and nuclear genomes. The presence of such nuclear paralogs (i.e. numts), to our knowledge described here in cestodes for the first time, together with the results of phylogenetic, saturation and split-decomposition analyses all suggest that finding informative markers for estimating caryophyllidean evolution is unusually problematic in comparison to other major lineages of tapeworms.

  11. De Novo Transcriptome Analysis Provides Insights into Immune Related Genes and the RIG-I-Like Receptor Signaling Pathway in the Freshwater Planarian (Dugesia japonica)

    PubMed Central

    Deng, Hongkuan; Zhang, Yichao; Sun, Xiaowen; Zhu, Guangzhong; Liu, Baohua; Zhao, Bosheng

    2016-01-01

    Background The freshwater planarian Dugesia japonica (D. japonica) possesses extraordinary ability to regenerate lost organs or body parts. Interestingly, in the process of regeneration, there is little wound infection, suggesting that D. japonica has a formidable innate immune system. The importance of immune system prompted us to search for immune-related genes and RIG-I-like receptor signaling pathways. Results Transcriptome sequencing of D. japonica was performed on an IlluminaHiSeq2000 platform. A total of 27,180 transcripts were obtained by Trinity assembler. CEGMA analysis and mapping of all trimmed reads back to the assembly result showed that our transcriptome assembly covered most of the whole transcriptome. 23,888 out of 27,180 transcripts contained ORF (open reading fragment), and were highly similar to those in Schistosoma mansoni using BLASTX analysis. 8,079 transcripts (29.7%) and 8,668 (31.9%) were annotated by Blast2GO and KEGG respectively. A DYNLRB-like gene was cloned to verify its roles in the immune response. Finally, the expression patterns of 4 genes (RIG-I, TRAF3, TRAF6, P38) in the RIG-I-like receptor signaling pathway were detected, and the results showed they are very likely to be involved in planarian immune response. Conclusion RNA-Seq analysis based on the next-generation sequencing technology was an efficient approach to discover critical genes and to understand their corresponding biological functions. Through GO and KEGG analysis, several critical and conserved signaling pathways and genes related to RIG-I-like receptor signaling pathway were identified. Four candidate genes were selected to identify their expression dynamics in the process of pathogen stimulation. These annotated transcripts of D. japonica provide a useful resource for subsequent investigation of other important pathways. PMID:26986572

  12. Immunogold-labeled S-phase neoblasts, total neoblast number, their distribution, and evidence for arrested neoblasts in Macrostomum lignano (Platyhelminthes, Rhabditophora).

    PubMed

    Bode, A; Salvenmoser, W; Nimeth, K; Mahlknecht, M; Adamski, Z; Rieger, R M; Peter, R; Ladurner, P

    2006-09-01

    Neoblasts in Platyhelminthes are the only cells to proliferate and differentiate into all cell types. In Macrostomum lignano, the incorporation of 5'-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU) in neoblasts confirmed the distribution of S-phase cells in two lateral bands. BrdU labeling for light and for transmission electron microscopy (TEM) identified three populations of proliferating cells: somatic neoblasts located between the epidermis and gastrodermis (mesodermal neoblasts), neoblasts located within the gastrodermis (gastrodermal neoblasts), and gonadal S-phase cells. In adults, three stages of mesodermal neoblasts (2, 2-3, and 3) defined by their ultrastructure were found. Stage 1 neoblasts where only seen in hatchlings. These stages either were phases within the S-phase of one neoblast pool or were subsequent stages of differentiating neoblasts, each with its own cell cycle. Regular TEM and immunogold labeling provided the basis for calculating the total number of neoblasts and the ratio of labeled to non-labeled neoblasts. Somatic neoblasts represented 6.5% of the total number of cells. Of these, 27% were labeled in S-phase. Of this fraction, 33% were in stage 2, 46% in stage 2-3, and 21% in stage 3. Immunogold labeling substantiated results concerning the differentiation of neoblasts into somatic cells. Non-labeled stage 2 neoblasts were present, even after a 2-week BrdU exposure. Double labeling of mitoses and FMRF-amide revealed a close spatial relationship of mesodermal neoblasts with the nervous system. Immunogold-labeled sections showed that nearly 70% of S-phase cells were in direct contact or within 5 microm from nerve cords.

  13. A common origin of complex life cycles in parasitic flatworms: evidence from the complete mitochondrial genome of Microcotyle sebastis (Monogenea: Platyhelminthes)

    PubMed Central

    Park, Joong-Ki; Kim, Kyu-Heon; Kang, Seokha; Kim, Won; Eom, Keeseon S; Littlewood, DTJ

    2007-01-01

    Background The parasitic Platyhelminthes (Neodermata) contains three parasitic groups of flatworms, each having a unique morphology, and life style: Monogenea (primarily ectoparasitic), Trematoda (endoparasitic flukes), and Cestoda (endoparasitic tapeworms). The evolutionary origin of complex life cyles (multiple obligate hosts, as found in Trematoda and Cestoda) and of endo-/ecto-parasitism in these groups is still under debate and these questions can be resolved, only if the phylogenetic position of the Monogenea within the Neodermata clade is correctly estimated. Results To test the interrelationships of the major parasitic flatworm groups, we estimated the phylogeny of the Neodermata using complete available mitochondrial genome sequences and a newly characterized sequence of a polyopisthocotylean monogenean Microcotyle sebastis. Comparisons of inferred amino acid sequences and gene arrangement patterns with other published flatworm mtDNAs indicate Monogenea are sister group to a clade of Trematoda+Cestoda. Conclusion Results confirm that vertebrates were the first host for stem group neodermatans and that the addition of a second, invertebrate, host was a single event occurring in the Trematoda+Cestoda lineage. In other words, the move from direct life cycles with one host to complex life cycles with multiple hosts was a single evolutionary event. In association with the evolution of life cycle patterns, our result supports the hypothesis that the most recent common ancestor of the Neodermata giving rise to the Monogenea adopted vertebrate ectoparasitism as its initial life cycle pattern and that the intermediate hosts of the Trematoda (molluscs) and Cestoda (crustaceans) were subsequently added into the endoparasitic life cycles of the Trematoda+Cestoda clade after the common ancestor of these branched off from the monogenean lineage. Complex life cycles, involving one or more intermediate hosts, arose through the addition of intermediate hosts and not the

  14. Schmidtea mediterranea phylogeography: an old species surviving on a few Mediterranean islands?

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Schmidtea mediterranea (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida, Continenticola) is found in scattered localities on a few islands and in coastal areas of the western Mediterranean. Although S. mediterranea is the object of many regeneration studies, little is known about its evolutionary history. Its present distribution has been proposed to stem from the fragmentation and migration of the Corsica-Sardinia microplate during the formation of the western Mediterranean basin, which implies an ancient origin for the species. To test this hypothesis, we obtained a large number of samples from across its distribution area. Using known and new molecular markers and, for the first time in planarians, a molecular clock, we analysed the genetic variability and demographic parameters within the species and between its sexual and asexual populations to estimate when they diverged. Results A total of 2 kb from three markers (COI, CYB and a nuclear intron N13) was amplified from ~200 specimens. Molecular data clustered the studied populations into three groups that correspond to the west, central and southeastern geographical locations of the current distribution of S. mediterranea. Mitochondrial genes show low haplotype and nucleotide diversity within populations but demonstrate higher values when all individuals are considered. The nuclear marker shows higher values of genetic diversity than the mitochondrial genes at the population level, but asexual populations present lower variability than the sexual ones. Neutrality tests are significant for some populations. Phylogenetic and dating analyses show the three groups to be monophyletic, with the west group being the basal group. The time when the diversification of the species occurred is between ~20 and ~4 mya, although the asexual nature of the western populations could have affected the dating analyses. Conclusions S. mediterranea is an old species that is sparsely distributed in a harsh habitat, which is probably the

  15. Toxicity of selenium (Na sub 2 SeO sub 3 ) and mercury (HgCl sub 2 ) on the planarian Dugesia gonocephala

    SciTech Connect

    Congiu, A.M.; Casu, S.; Ugazio, G. )

    1989-10-01

    The toxicity of selenium (Na{sub 2}SeO{sub 3}) and mercury (HgCl{sub 2}) was determined by using a freshwater planarian which is particularly sensitive to pollution, and belongs to a fissiparous breed of Dugesia gonocephala. The mortality and fissiparity frequency of the subjects were studied. They were exposed to intense treatments (48 hours) or for medium to long periods of time (21 days) to either the single compounds or a combination of both, and were fed or fasting. The lethal effect of sodium selenite is correlated to the food intake, whereas the toxicity of mercurous chloride is probably the result of a fixative effect which does not depend on feeding. The 21-day treatment with the first compound has a non-negligible lethal effect which is probably due to an accumulation phenomenon. At doses where an antioxidant effect prevails, fissiparity is stimulated. On the other hand, the second compound reduces reproduction frequency to half the base values. Compared to the Paracentrotus lividus, the Dugesia gonocephala offers various advantages concerning toxicological experiments; besides being easier to handle in the laboratory, it is available all year round and is not subject to seasonal cycles. It is also more susceptible to the toxic effect of mercury, which is a common and highly toxic pollutant, than the sea urchin.

  16. Gyrodactylus salinae n. sp. (Platyhelminthes: Monogenea) infecting the south European toothcarp Aphanius fasciatus (Valenciennes) (Teleostei, Cyprinodontidae) from a hypersaline environment in Italy

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Historically, non-native species of Gambusia (Poeciliidae) have been used to control larval stages of the Asian tiger mosquito, Stegomyia albopicta Reinert, Harbach et Kitching, 2004 throughout Italy. The potential utility of indigenous populations of Aphanius fasciatus (Valenciennes) (Teleostei: Cyprinodontidae) as an appropriate alternative biological control is currently being explored. A sub-sample of ten fish collected from Cervia Saline, Italy (salinity 65 ppt; 30°C) to assess their reproductive capability in captivity, harboured a moderate infection of Gyrodactylus von Nordmann, 1832 (Platyhelminthes, Monogenea). A subsequent morphological and molecular study identified this as being a new species. Results Gyrodactylus salinae n. sp. is described from the skin, fins and gills of A. fasciatus. Light and scanning electron microscopical (SEM) examination of the opisthaptoral armature and their comparison with all other recorded species suggested morphological similarities to Gyrodactylus rugiensoides Huyse et Volckaert, 2002 from Pomatoschistus minutus (Pallas). Features of the ventral bar, however, permit its discrimination from G. rugiensoides. Sequencing of the nuclear ribosomal DNA internal transcribed spacers 1 and 2 and the 5.8S rRNA gene and a comparison with all species listed in GenBank confirmed they are unique and represent a new species (most similar to Gyrodactylus anguillae Ergens, 1960, 8.3% pair-wise distance based on 5.8S+ITS2). This represents the first species of Gyrodactylus to be described from Aphanius and, to date, has the longest ITS1 (774 bp) sequenced from any Gyrodactylus. Additional sampling of Cervia Saline throughout the year, found G. salinae n. sp. to persist in conditions ranging from 35 ppt and 5°C in December to 65 ppt and 30°C in July, while in captivity a low level of infection was present, even in freshwater conditions (0 ppt). Conclusions The ability of G. salinae n. sp. to tolerate a wide range of salinities

  17. Evolutionary processes involved in the diversification of chelonian and mammal polystomatid parasites (Platyhelminthes, Monogenea, Polystomatidae) revealed by palaeoecology of their hosts.

    PubMed

    Héritier, Laurent; Badets, Mathieu; Du Preez, Louis H; Aisien, Martins S O; Lixian, Fan; Combes, Claude; Verneau, Olivier

    2015-11-01

    Polystomatid flatworms (Platyhelminthes) are monogenean parasites that infect exclusively aquatic or semi-aquatic sarcopterygians such as the Australian lungfish, amphibians, freshwater turtles and the African common hippopotamus. Previous studies on the phylogenetic relationships of these parasites, excluding Oculotrema hippopotami infecting common hippos, showed a global coevolution between hosts and their parasites at a macroevolutionary scale. These studies also demonstrated a strong correlation between the diversification of early neobatrachian polystomes and Gondwana breakup in the Mesozoic period. However the origin of chelonian polystomes is still in question as a switch from presumably primitive aquatic amniotes to turtles at the time of their first appearance, or soon after during their radiation, was assumed. In order to resolve this sticking point, we extended the phylogeny of polystomes with broader parasite sampling, i.e. 55 polystome species including Nanopolystoma tinsleyi a polystome infecting caecilians and O. hippopotami, and larger set of sequence data covering two nuclear and two mitochondrial genes coding for the ribosomal RNA 18S and 28S, the Cytochrome c Oxidase I and the ribosomal RNA 12S, respectively. The secondary structure of nuclear rRNAs genes (stems and loops) was taken into account for sequence alignments and Bayesian analyses were performed based on the appropriate models of evolution selected independently for the four designed partitions. Molecular calibrations were also conducted for dating the main speciation events in the polystome tree. The phylogenetic position of chelonian parasites that are phylogenetically closer to N. tinsleyi than all other amphibian polystomes and molecular time estimates suggest that these parasites originated following a switch from caecilians, at a geological period when primitive turtles may already have adapted to an aquatic life style, i.e. at about 178Million years ago, or a little later when

  18. The kappa-opioid receptor antagonist nor-BNI inhibits cocaine and amphetamine, but not cannabinoid (WIN 52212-2), abstinence-induced withdrawal in planarians: an instance of 'pharmacologic congruence'.

    PubMed

    Raffa, Robert B; Stagliano, Gregory W; Ross, Geoffrey; Powell, Jenay A; Phillips, Austin G; Ding, Zhe; Rawls, Scott M

    2008-02-08

    The broad applicability of receptor theory to diverse species, from invertebrates to mammals, provides evidence for the evolution in complexity of pharmacologic receptor diversification and of receptor-effector signal transduction mechanisms. However, pre-mammalian species have less receptor subtype differentiation, and thus, might share signal transduction pathways to a greater extent than do mammals, a phenomenon that we term 'pharmacologic congruence'. We have demonstrated previously that the lowest species considered to have a centralized nervous system, planarians, display both abstinence-induced and antagonist-precipitated withdrawal signs, indicative of the development of physical dependence. We report here: (1) amphetamine abstinence-induced withdrawal, and (2) the attenuation of cocaine and amphetamine, but not cannabinoid agonist (WIN 52212-2), abstinence-induced withdrawal by the opioid receptor antagonist naloxone and by the selective kappa-opioid receptor subtype antagonist nor-BNI (nor-Binaltorphimine), but not by the selective mu-opioid or the delta-opioid receptor subtype antagonists CTAP (D-Phe-Cys-Tyr-D-Trp-Arg-Thr-Pen-Thr-NH(2)) and naltrindole. These results provide evidence that the withdrawal from cocaine and amphetamine, but not cannabinoids, in planarians is mediated through a common nor-BNI-sensitive (kappa-opioid receptor-like) pathway.

  19. A Transcriptomic-Phylogenomic Analysis of the Evolutionary Relationships of Flatworms

    PubMed Central

    Egger, Bernhard; Lapraz, François; Tomiczek, Bartłomiej; Müller, Steven; Dessimoz, Christophe; Girstmair, Johannes; Škunca, Nives; Rawlinson, Kate A.; Cameron, Christopher B.; Beli, Elena; Todaro, M. Antonio; Gammoudi, Mehrez; Noreña, Carolina; Telford, Maximilian J.

    2015-01-01

    Summary The interrelationships of the flatworms (phylum Platyhelminthes) are poorly resolved despite decades of morphological and molecular phylogenetic studies [1, 2]. The earliest-branching clades (Catenulida, Macrostomorpha, and Polycladida) share spiral cleavage and entolecithal eggs with other lophotrochozoans. Lecithoepitheliata have primitive spiral cleavage but derived ectolecithal eggs. Other orders (Rhabdocoela, Proseriata, Tricladida and relatives, and Bothrioplanida) all have derived ectolecithal eggs but have uncertain affinities to one another. The orders of parasitic Neodermata emerge from an uncertain position from within these ectolecithal classes. To tackle these problems, we have sequenced transcriptomes from 18 flatworms and 5 other metazoan groups. The addition of published data produces an alignment of >107,000 amino acids with less than 28% missing data from 27 flatworm taxa in 11 orders covering all major clades. Our phylogenetic analyses show that Platyhelminthes consist of the two clades Catenulida and Rhabditophora. Within Rhabditophora, we show the earliest-emerging branch is Macrostomorpha, not Polycladida. We show Lecithoepitheliata are not members of Neoophora but are sister group of Polycladida, implying independent origins of the ectolecithal eggs found in Lecithoepitheliata and Neoophora. We resolve Rhabdocoela as the most basally branching euneoophoran taxon. Tricladida, Bothrioplanida, and Neodermata constitute a group that appears to have lost both spiral cleavage and centrosomes. We identify Bothrioplanida as the long-sought closest free-living sister group of the parasitic Neodermata. Among parasitic orders, we show that Cestoda are closer to Trematoda than to Monogenea, rejecting the concept of the Cercomeromorpha. Our results have important implications for understanding the evolution of this major phylum. PMID:25866392

  20. Comparative spermatology of selected polyclad flatworms (platyhelminthes).

    PubMed

    Liana, Marcin K; Litvaitis, Marian K

    2007-10-01

    Sperm ultrastructure of four acotylean (Idioplana atlantica, Armatoplana leptalea, Styloplanocera fasciata, Melloplana ferruginea) and three cotylean polyclads (Pseudoceros bicolor, Phrikoceros mopsus, Enchiridium evelinae) was investigated. All spermatozoa are biflagellate, exhibiting a 9+"1" axoneme pattern. All acotylean axonemes originate and extend within the sperm shaft, and once exiting the shaft, remain attached to it. The flagella of all cotylean spermatozoa exit the shaft immediately and remain free. Structures shared by all species include: an elongated nucleus, in acotyleans located only in the posterior part of the shaft, whereas in cotyleans it extends along the entire sperm body; mitochondria along with small and large dense bodies arranged in a specific pattern; and a ring of microtubules that extends along the entire sperm shaft just beneath the cell membrane. A unique spermatozoon has been found in E. evelinae, where round vesicle-like structures fill the anterior part of the nucleus, and a different type of large dense bodies is present. The spermatozoa of all studied species exhibit numerous characters (axoneme/flagella position, distribution and position of large and small dense bodies, of mitochondria, presence of nuclear vesicles) that may be of phylogenetic value at the family and higher taxonomic levels.

  1. Origin of the epidermis in parasitic platyhelminths.

    PubMed

    Tyler, S; Tyler, M S

    1997-06-01

    The epidermis of members of the major parasitic taxon Neodermata is distinctive among flatworms, being a syncytial, insunk, non-ciliated epidermis that develops through a wholesale replacement of larval epidermis at metamorphosis when the larva attacks a host. How it arose in evolution from what must have been a turbellarian-like ancestor is not immediately evident. While many turbellarian flatworms have also adopted a symbiotic way of life, the literature on ultrastructure of epidermis in these symbionts shows quite a variety of morphologies, many not so different from that of their free-living relatives. Various turbellarians do have syncytial or insunk epidermises or reduction of epidermal ciliation as is characteristic of the Neodermata, but co-occurrence in a single turbellarian of all features common to neodermatans has not been reported. Urastoma cyprinae, for example, which is ectosymbiotic on bivalves, has a ciliated cellular epidermis that is little different from what is known of epidermises of its free-living relatives. The endoparasitic Anoplodium hymanae, from the coelom of sea cucumbers, also bears a ciliated cellular epidermis, as is typical of many other rhabdocoels, but it shows marked phagocytic activity as well as incorporation of endosymbiotic bacteria. The closest similarity to neodermatan epidermis is that of the turbellarian Genostoma kozloffi, an ectosymbiont of the crustacean Nebalia: covering the bulk of the body is a non-ciliated syncytium with multiple branching connections to insunk nucleated portions, much as in epidermis of adult neodermatans and, on its ventral surface, is a field of ciliated cellular insunk epidermis resembling the epidermis of some larval neodermatans. Developmental clues to the origin of the neodermatan epidermis can be seen in turbellarian embryos. Before hatching, embryos of proseriate and triclad embryos go through 3 generations of epidermis, each replacing the next; 2 generations of epidermis are reported in the literature on rhabdocoel embryos. This process of replacement parallels the epidermal replacement that larval neodermatans undergo at metamorphosis. Ultrastructural study of developing acoel, polyclad and macrostomid embryos shows that they, too, have epidermal replacement and growth through immigration of deeper-lying cells, comparable to the processes seen in higher flatworms. Succession of distinct generations of epidermis in such animals as the proseriates, triclads and rhabdocoels is probably an adaptation to development of ectolecithal eggs, providing the means for the embryo to use yolk that resides in vitellocytes, outside its blastomeres. We propose that the Neodermata has taken advantage of this developmental mechanism, producing successive generations of epidermal cells even in its larval stages, to counter the defenses of hosts.

  2. Developmental diversity in free-living flatworms

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Flatworm embryology has attracted attention since the early beginnings of comparative evolutionary biology. Considered for a long time the most basal bilaterians, the Platyhelminthes (excluding Acoelomorpha) are now robustly placed within the Spiralia. Despite having lost their relevance to explain the transition from radially to bilaterally symmetrical animals, the study of flatworm embryology is still of great importance to understand the diversification of bilaterians and of developmental mechanisms. Flatworms are acoelomate organisms generally with a simple centralized nervous system, a blind gut, and lacking a circulatory organ, a skeleton and a respiratory system other than the epidermis. Regeneration and asexual reproduction, based on a totipotent neoblast stem cell system, are broadly present among different groups of flatworms. While some more basally branching groups - such as polyclad flatworms - retain the ancestral quartet spiral cleavage pattern, most flatworms have significantly diverged from this pattern and exhibit unique strategies to specify the common adult body plan. Most free-living flatworms (i.e. Platyhelminthes excluding the parasitic Neodermata) are directly developing, whereas in polyclads, also indirect developers with an intermediate free-living larval stage and subsequent metamorphosis are found. A comparative study of developmental diversity may help understanding major questions in evolutionary biology, such as the evolution of cleavage patterns, gastrulation and axial specification, the evolution of larval types, and the diversification and specialization of organ systems. In this review, we present a thorough overview of the embryonic development of the different groups of free-living (turbellarian) platyhelminths, including the Catenulida, Macrostomorpha, Polycladida, Lecithoepitheliata, Proseriata, Bothrioplanida, Rhabdocoela, Fecampiida, Prolecithophora and Tricladida, and discuss their main features under a consensus phylogeny

  3. Stem cell systems and regeneration in planaria.

    PubMed

    Rink, Jochen C

    2013-03-01

    Planarians are members of the Platyhelminthes (flatworms). These animals have evolved a remarkable stem cell system. A single pluripotent adult stem cell type ("neoblast") gives rise to the entire range of cell types and organs in the planarian body plan, including a brain, digestive-, excretory-, sensory- and reproductive systems. Neoblasts are abundantly present throughout the mesenchyme and divide continuously. The resulting stream of progenitors and turnover of differentiated cells drive the rapid self-renewal of the entire animal within a matter of weeks. Planarians grow and literally de-grow ("shrink") by the food supply-dependent adjustment of organismal turnover rates, scaling body plan proportions over as much as a 50-fold size range. Their dynamic body architecture further allows astonishing regenerative abilities, including the regeneration of complete and perfectly proportioned animals even from tiny tissue remnants. Planarians as an experimental system, therefore, provide unique opportunities for addressing a spectrum of current problems in stem cell research, including the evolutionary conservation of pluripotency, the dynamic organization of differentiation lineages and the mechanisms underlying organismal stem cell homeostasis. The first part of this review focuses on the molecular biology of neoblasts as pluripotent stem cells. The second part examines the fascinating mechanistic and conceptual challenges posed by a stem cell system that epitomizes a universal design principle of biological systems: the dynamic steady state.

  4. Diversity of introduced terrestrial flatworms in the Iberian Peninsula: a cautionary tale

    PubMed Central

    Álvarez-Presas, Marta; Tudó, Àngels; Jones, Hugh; Riutort, Marta

    2014-01-01

    Many tropical terrestrial planarians (Platyhelminthes, Geoplanidae) have been introduced around the globe. One of these species is known to cause significant decline in earthworm populations, resulting in a reduction of ecological functions that earthworms provide. Flatworms, additionally, are a potential risk to other species that have the same dietary needs. Hence, the planarian invasion might cause significant economic losses in agriculture and damage to the ecosystem. In the Iberian Peninsula only Bipalium kewense Moseley, 1878 had been cited till 2007. From that year on, four more species have been cited, and several reports of the presence of these animals in particular gardens have been received. In the present study we have: (1) analyzed the animals sent by non-specialists and also the presence of terrestrial planarians in plant nurseries and garden centers; (2) identified their species through morphological and phylogenetic molecular analyses, including representatives of their areas of origin; (3) revised their dietary sources and (4) used Species Distribution Modeling (SDM) for one species to evaluate the risk of its introduction to natural areas. The results have shown the presence of at least ten species of alien terrestrial planarians, from all its phylogenetic range. International plant trade is the source of these animals, and many garden centers are acting as reservoirs. Also, landscape restoration to reintroduce autochthonous plants has facilitated their introduction close to natural forests and agricultural fields. In conclusion, there is a need to take measures on plant trade and to have special care in the treatment of restored habitats. PMID:24949245

  5. Evolution and Functional Morphology of the Proboscis in Kalyptorhynchia (Platyhelminthes)

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Julian P. S.; Litvaitis, Marian K.; Gobert, Stefan; Uyeno, Theodore; Artois, Tom

    2015-01-01

    Predatory flatworms belonging to the taxon Kalyptorhynchia are characterized by an anterior muscular proboscis that they use to seize prey. In many cases, the proboscis is armed with hooks, derived either from the extracellular matrix that surrounds the muscles or from intracellular deposits in the epithelium covering the proboscis. Glands associated with the proboscis reportedly are venomous; however, there are few direct tests of this hypothesis. This article reviews the structure and current knowledge of the function of the proboscis in the Kalyptorhynchia, points to areas in which the current understanding of phylogenetic relationships within this taxon is incongruent with our hypothesis of how the proboscis evolved, and addresses areas in need of further research, especially as regards functional morphology and biomechanics. PMID:26002347

  6. Checklist of tapeworms (Platyhelminthes, Cestoda) of vertebrates in Finland

    PubMed Central

    Haukisalmi, Voitto

    2015-01-01

    Abstract A checklist of tapeworms (Cestoda) of vertebrates (fishes, birds and mammals) in Finland is presented, based on published observations, specimens deposited in the collections of the Finnish Museum of Natural History (Helsinki) and the Zoological Museum of the University of Turku, and additional specimens identified by the present author. The checklist includes 170 tapeworm species from 151 host species, comprising 447 parasite species/host species combinations. Thirty of the tapeworm species and 96 of the parasite/host species combinations have not been previously reported from Finland. The total number of tapeworm species in Finland (170 spp.) is significantly lower than the corresponding figure for the Iberian Peninsula (257 spp.), Slovakia (225 spp.) and Poland (279 spp.). The difference between Finland and the other three regions is particularly pronounced for anseriform, podicipediform, charadriiform and passeriform birds, reflecting inadequate and/or biased sampling of these birds in Finland. It is predicted that there are actually ca. 270 species of tapeworms in Finland, assuming that true number of bird tapeworms in Finland corresponds to that in other European countries with more comprehensive knowledge of the local tapeworm fauna. The other main pattern emerging from the present data is the seemingly unexplained absence in (northern) Fennoscandia of several mammalian tapeworms that otherwise have extensive distributions in the Holarctic region or in Eurasia, including the northern regions. Previously unknown type specimens, that is, the holotype of Bothrimonus nylandicus Schneider, 1902 (a junior synonym of Diplocotyle olrikii Krabbe, 1874) (MZH 127096) and the syntypes of Caryophyllaeides fennica (Schneider, 1902) (MZH 127097) were located in the collections of the Finnish Museum of Natural History. PMID:26668540

  7. Killing of Gyrodactylus salaris (Platyhelminthes, Monogenea) mediated by host complement.

    PubMed

    Harris, P D; Soleng, A; Bakke, T A

    1998-08-01

    Gyrodactylus salaris, an important pathogen of Atlantic salmon Salmo salar, has been shown to be highly sensitive to factors in host serum and mucus, being killed rapidly (50% within 1 h) by serum at a dilution of 1:200. The time needed for killing was inversely proportional to serum concentration. Similar effects were noted using host mucus, which contained approximately 1/20th of the anti-Gyrodactylus activity of serum. Serum activity was abolished completely by heating at 45 degrees C for 30 min, and by addition of EDTA, but not by EGTA + 1 mM magnesium ions. Activity was not dependent on whether the serum was from infected or naive fishes, nor was it species specific. Attempts to pre-coat parasites in salmon anti-Gyrodactylus antibodies also failed to enhance the activity of fresh serum. These observations suggest that killing is due to the complement system of the host, acting via the alternate pathway. G. salaris appears to be exceptionally sensitive to complement, being killed at concentrations which could be experienced in vivo. The role of complement in the protection of fishes against gyrodactylid infection therefore deserves further investigation.

  8. Muscular pattern in three species of Macrostomum (platyhelminthes, macrostomorpha).

    PubMed

    Adami, Mariana L; Brusa, Francisco; Ronderos, Jorge R; Damborenea, Cristina

    2017-02-01

    Previous studies demonstrated complex architecture of the muscular system of Macrostomum species, especially in the rostrum area and the pharynx. However, little is known about the differences in muscular pattern between species of the genus. This study examines and compares the muscular systems of specimens belonging to three freshwater Macrostomum species (M. quiritium, M. tuba and M. velastylum), labeled with phalloidin-rhodamine and studied by confocal microscopy. Our results agree with the previous descriptions, confirming that the muscular patterns for the body wall, rostrum area, pharynx and caudal region differ among species. The muscles of the body wall follow the typical architecture, but the number of fibers in the species analyzed varies between dorsal and ventral surfaces, ranging from 80 to 100 fibers, this record being higher than previous observations. The arrangement of the fibers in the rostrum is complex, especially in the brain area. Macrostomum tuba and M. quiritium have a set of two muscles crossing at brain level and forming an "X," which is not evident in M. velastylum. We identified five different sets of fibers associated to the pharynx and mouth at ventral, medium and deep levels. These different sets are present in all three species studied. The caudal plate in M. tuba has an additional layer of diagonal fibers in the body wall, which is not evident in the other two species. The muscles of the reproductive system are independent of the body wall musculature in the species analyzed, but connected to the intestinal wall by specific fibers that may serve as an anchor. J. Morphol. 278:264-282, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals,Inc.

  9. Evolution and Functional Morphology of the Proboscis in Kalyptorhynchia (Platyhelminthes).

    PubMed

    Smith, Julian P S; Litvaitis, Marian K; Gobert, Stefan; Uyeno, Theodore; Artois, Tom

    2015-08-01

    Predatory flatworms belonging to the taxon Kalyptorhynchia are characterized by an anterior muscular proboscis that they use to seize prey. In many cases, the proboscis is armed with hooks, derived either from the extracellular matrix that surrounds the muscles or from intracellular deposits in the epithelium covering the proboscis. Glands associated with the proboscis reportedly are venomous; however, there are few direct tests of this hypothesis. This article reviews the structure and current knowledge of the function of the proboscis in the Kalyptorhynchia, points to areas in which the current understanding of phylogenetic relationships within this taxon is incongruent with our hypothesis of how the proboscis evolved, and addresses areas in need of further research, especially as regards functional morphology and biomechanics.

  10. A checklist of the aspidogastrea (platyhelminthes: trematoda) of the world.

    PubMed

    Alves, Philippe V; Vieira, Fabiano M; Santos, Cláudia P; Scholz, Tomáš; Luque, José L

    2015-02-12

    A checklist of records of aspidogastrean trematodes (Aspidogastrea) is provided on the basis of a comprehensive survey of the literature since 1826, when the first aspidogastrean species was reported, until December 2014. We list 61 species representing 13 genera within 4 families and 2 orders of aspidogastreans associated with 298 species of invertebrate and vertebrate hosts. The majority of records include bivalves (44% of the total number of host-parasite associations), whereas records from bony fishes represent 32% of host-parasite associations. The aspidogastreans have worldwide distribution, with the highest number of records in the Neartic Region for freshwater hosts and the North Atlantic Ocean for marine ones. The checklist includes a parasite-host list with data on host habitat, site of infection and distribution area of parasites, and a host-parasite list. A limited number of molecular studies on aspidogastreans does not allow us to unravel phylogenetic relationships within the Aspidogastrea.

  11. Marine macrostomorpha (platyhelminthes, rhabditophora) from the algarve (southern portugal).

    PubMed

    Schockaert, Ernest R

    2014-10-13

    Ten species of Macrostomorpha were found in marine environments of the Algarve (Portugal). Six of them were found in the Ria Formosa, a vast intertidal euryhaline lagoon system that dominates the most Eastern coast of the Algarve: two unidentified species of Microstomum Schmidt, 1848, Macrostomum cf. rubrocinctum Ax, 1951 and two unidentified species of Macrostomum Schmidt, 1848, Paromalostomum dubium (de Beauchamps, 1927), Paromalostomum minutum Rieger, 1971 and Cylindromacrostomum faroensis n.sp.. Comparison of this species with C. mediterraneum (Ax, 1955) and the species from Venice, considered to be C. mediterraneum by Rieger (1977), leads to the conclusion that the individuals studied by Rieger are in fact representatives of a separate species, C. riegeri n.sp.. Acanthomacrostomum spiculiferum Papi & Swedmark, 1959 was found in the Atlantic, 10-15 m deep, near the western coast of the Algarve. Haplopharynx papii n. sp. occurs on the beach exposed to the Atlantic as well as in the Ria Formosa. All identified and previously known (marine) species found in the Algarve had been found before, either in the Atlantic or in the Mediterranean basin. 

  12. Checklist of tapeworms (Platyhelminthes, Cestoda) of vertebrates in Finland.

    PubMed

    Haukisalmi, Voitto

    2015-01-01

    A checklist of tapeworms (Cestoda) of vertebrates (fishes, birds and mammals) in Finland is presented, based on published observations, specimens deposited in the collections of the Finnish Museum of Natural History (Helsinki) and the Zoological Museum of the University of Tu