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W Schurmann and R Peter (2001)

Planarian cell culture: a comparative review of methods and an improved protocol for primary cultures of neoblasts


To develop an improved method for preparing and cultivating planarian cells, several protocols published previously were compared with each other. Cells, and in particular neoblasts, proved remarkably resistant to hyposmotic conditions. However, survival periods depended critically on the content in nutrients and on osmotic conditions. Starting from an optimized method to disintegrate planarian tissues and prepare purified neoblast fractions, different media and additives were tried. Hyposmotic media and layers of extracellular matrix components enhanced the adhesion of neoblasts and favoured the formation of transient processes. Proteins in the medium supported long-term survival of neoblasts that retained a spherical shape. Eventually, an isosmotic medium was devised that supported the survival of neoblasts with a viability of 46\% on day 31 of primary cultures. With light microscopical techniques, no signs of differentiation were observed in these cultures. Mitoses were detected until the second day of cultivation. In contrast, cultures of total cells still displayed mitoses after 7 days of cultivation. Some guidelines are proposed for future research directed towards establishing permanent neoblast lines.

cell culture; culture media; extracellular matrix; neoblasts; osmotic effects; planarians; primary cultures; Schmidtea (Dugesia) polychroa; Platyhelminthes
9th International Symposium on the Biology of the Turbellaria (ISBT), BARCELONA, SPAIN, JUN, 2000
  • ISSN: 0777-6276

ISSN 2295-0451 (online version)
ISSN 0777-6279 (printed version)
impact factor 2015: 0,87.

Prof. Dr. Isa Schön
Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences
Vautierstraat 29
1000 Brussels, Belgium


Annales de la Société malacologique de Belgique
​Annales de la Société royale malacologique et zoologique de Belgique
Annales de la Société Royale Zoologique de Belgique
Belgian Journal of Zoology