Neural network in planarian revealed by an antibody against planarian synaptotagmin homologue

Akira Tazaki, Silvana Gaudieri, Kazuho Ikeo, Takashi Gojobori, Kenji Watanabe, Kiyokazu Agata*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


In order to investigate the neural connection of planarian, it is imperative to produce an antibody that specifically stains axons. To identify axon-specific genes, we constructed a cDNA library from a single eye by using a single cell PCR method, in which visual neurons are major components, and sequenced one thousand independent clones. We succeeded in the identification of a planarian homologue of synaptotagmin, Djsyt, whose specific expression in neurons was confirmed by in situ hybridization. The antibody against DjSYT specifically stained axons although its mRNA is distributed in the cell bodies. By using anti-DjSYT, we succeeded in the visualization of neural connections in planarians by whole mount staining. The anti-DjSYT antibody will become a powerful tool to analyze the molecular mechanisms underlying neural network formation in planarian.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)426-432
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and biophysical research communications
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 5 1999
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Yumi Umehara and Hiroaki Ono for their help sequencing EST. We also thank Hidefumi Orii for encouragement. This work was supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Creative Basic Research to K.A.


  • CNS
  • Neural network
  • Planarian
  • Single cell PCR
  • Synaptotagmin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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