Positional information specifies the site of organ regeneration and not tissue maintenance in planarians

Eric M. Hill, Christian P. Petersen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Most animals undergo homeostatic tissue maintenance, yet those capable of robust regeneration in adulthood use mechanisms significantly overlapping with homeostasis. Here we show in planarians that modulations to body-wide patterning systems shift the target site for eye regeneration while still enabling homeostasis of eyes outside this region. The uncoupling of homeostasis and regeneration, which can occur during normal positional rescaling after axis truncation, is not due to altered injury signaling or stem cell activity, nor specific to eye tissue. Rather, pre-existing tissues, which are misaligned with patterning factor expression domains, compete with properly located organs for incorporation of migratory progenitors. These observations suggest that patterning factors determine sites of organ regeneration but do not solely determine the location of tissue homeostasis. These properties provide candidate explanations for how regeneration integrates pre-existing tissues and how regenerative abilities could be lost in evolution or development without eliminating long-term tissue maintenance and repair.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere33680
StatePublished - Mar 16 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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