Planarian neoblasts are pluripotent, adult somatic stem cells and lineage-primed progenitors required for production and maintenance of all differentiated cell types, including the germline. Neoblasts, originally defined as undifferentiated cells residing in the adult parenchyma, are frequently compared to embryonic stem cells yet their developmental origin remains obscure. We investigated the provenance of neoblasts during S. mediterranea embryogenesis, and report that neoblasts arise from an anarchic, cycling piwi-1+ population wholly responsible for production of all temporary and definitive organs during embryogenesis. Early embryonic piwi-1+ cells are molecularly and functionally distinct from neoblasts: they express unique cohorts of early embryo enriched transcripts and behave differently than neoblasts in cell transplantation assays. Neoblast lineages arise as organogenesis begins and are required for construction of all major organ systems during embryogenesis. These subpopulations are continuously generated during adulthood, where they act as agents of tissue homeostasis and regeneration.
- Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado
- Kai Lei
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Utpal Banerjee, University of California, Los Angeles, United States
© 2017, Davies et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
The acute traumatic or surgical loss of skeletal muscle, known as volumetric muscle loss (VML), is a devastating type of injury that results in exacerbated and persistent inflammation followed by fibrosis. The mechanisms that mediate the magnitude and duration of the inflammatory response and ensuing fibrosis after VML remain understudied, and as such, the development of regenerative therapies has been limited. To address this need, we profiled how lipid mediators, which are potent regulators of the immune response after injury, varied with VML injuries that heal or result in fibrosis. We observed that non-healing VML injuries displayed increased pro-inflammatory eicosanoids and a lack of pro-resolving lipid mediators. Treatment of VML with a pro-resolving lipid mediator synthesized from docosahexaenoic acid, called Maresin 1, ameliorated fibrosis through reduction of neutrophils and macrophages and enhanced recovery of muscle strength. These results expand our knowledge of the dysregulated immune response that develops after VML and identify a novel immuno-regenerative therapeutic modality in Maresin 1.
Breakdown of neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) is an early pathological hallmark of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) that blocks neuromuscular transmission, leading to muscle weakness, paralysis and, ultimately, premature death. Currently, no therapies exist that can prevent progressive motor neuron degeneration, muscle denervation, or paralysis in ALS. Here, we report important advances in the development of an optogenetic, neural replacement strategy that can effectively restore innervation of severely affected skeletal muscles in the aggressive SOD1G93A mouse model of ALS, thus providing an interface to selectively control the function of targeted muscles using optical stimulation. We also identify a specific approach to confer complete survival of allogeneic replacement motor neurons. Furthermore, we demonstrate that an optical stimulation training paradigm can prevent atrophy of reinnervated muscle fibers and results in a tenfold increase in optically evoked contractile force. Together, these advances pave the way for an assistive therapy that could benefit all ALS patients.