Regeneration in planarians is an intriguing phenomenon, based on the presence of pluripotent stem cells, known as neoblasts. Following amputation, these cells activate mitotic divisions, migrate distally and undergo differentiation, giving rise to the regeneration blastema. We have identified two msh/msx-related genes, Djmsh1 and Djmsh2, which are expressed in distinct cell populations of the planarian Dugesia japonica and activated, with different patterns, during head regeneration. We demonstrate that RNA interference of Djmsh1 or Djmsh2 generates a delay in the growth of cephalic blastema, interfering with the dynamics of mitoses during its initial formation. Our data also reveal that the activity of the two planarian msh genes is required to regulate Djbmp expression during head regeneration. This study identifies, for the first time, a functional association between muscle segment homeobox (MSH) homeoproteins and BMP signaling during stem cell-based regeneration of the planarian head and provides a functional analysis of how msh genes may regulate in vivo the regenerative response of planarian stem cells.