A fine structural study of regeneration after fission in the planarian Dugesia japonica

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We examined morphologically the process of regeneration before and after fission in a sexual strain of the freshwater planarian Dugesia japonica. Usually fission takes place in the post-pharyngeal region. Decapitation significantly accelerates the rate of fissioning. When decapitated worms were treated with substance P and neuropeptide K separately, the rate of fission markedly decreased in both cases. Before the onset of fission, a presumptive region of fission was recognized in the post-pharyngeal portion where undifferentiated cells, regenerative cells and newly differentiated cells were localized. Moreover a functional network of fixed parenchyma cells was noted in this region. After fission, cell distribution in the blastema became quite different from that of artificially amputated worms. This difference seems to be due to the process that occurs in the presumptive region of fission.

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