Talk:Planaria nervous system

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    Dr. Agata has been one of the most important scientists to revitalize the research on freshwater planarians, a classic model to study regeneration. Some of his most important contributions to the field include a whole-mount in situ hybridization protocol, identification of important neuronal genes by microarrays and isolation of planarian stem cells by FACS. He has been also interested in the molecular characterization of the planarian nervous system, as well as understanding how does it regenerate. Therefore, he is an appropriate person to review what is known so far on the central nervous system of these amazing animals. The review is, in general, clear and provides basic information on the nervous system of these animals. However, before final publication the author could consider the following suggestions:

    1.- Planarians are a very attractive model to study regeneration. These animals can regenerate a whole, functional brain in very few days. So, in addition to be a good model to study the evolution of the nervous system, it is mainly an optimal model to study the regeneration of the central nervous system. The author could consider adding a sentence pointing out the relevance of this animal to unravel the molecular mechanisms underlying neuronal regeneration as well as the insights they can provide to enhance the poor regenerative abilities shown by most of the animals, including humans.

    2.- The study by Aguinaldo et al (1997) that the author cites to discuss the phylogenetic position of Platyhelminthes is not based on mitochondrial DNA, but on 18S ribosomal DNA. In the last years several other studies using other genes and morphological characters have corroborated the position of the Platyhelminthes within the Lophotrocozoa. The author should add some of these more recent references.

    3.- I think that the term “Turbellaria” does not have a taxonomic category anymore, so the author should revise about considering planarians as belonging to the class Turbellaria.

    4.- Recent studies have shown that planarian homologues of axon guidance cues such as netrin, netrin receptor, slit and robo play important roles in the wiring of the nervous system in both intact and regenerating planarians. Although these studies have not been done in the laboratory of Dr. Agata they should be mentioned and discussed a little bit to provide the general readers with a more complete view of the current state of research in this field. Also, the author could discuss in more detailed the effects of RNAi of some of the genes analyzed in his laboratory, such as DsCAM, NCAM, WntA, clathrin heavy chain, and unknown clones eye53 and 1020HH which may have an important role in the last stages of functional recovery of the newly regenerated brain.

    5.- The author should add the web link to access to the 3D model of the planarian brain based on the results obtained by single-cell PCR database.

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