Heterogeneity amongst dendritic cell (DC) subsets leads to a spectrum of immune response capacity against pathogens. Several DC subsets in spleen have been described which differ in terms of phenotype and function. We have previously reported a distinct population of CD11c(lo)CD11b(hi)MHC-II(-)CD8(-) dendritic-like "L-DC" in murine spleen, which can also be generated in splenic stromal longterm cultures. Here, the ontogeny of L-DC development in perinatal mice has been compared with other known splenic DC subsets. Flow cytometric analysis has revealed the presence of L-DC at embryonic age (E)18.5 spleen, while plasmacytoid (p)DC and conventional (c)DC appear at 2 and 4 days following birth. Co-cultures of E18.5 spleen above splenic stroma also showed production of only L-DC, while spleen cells from D0 through D5 neonates showed production of both L-DC and cDC-like cells. Addition of an M-CSFR inhibitor to co-cultures revealed that while the development of cDC-like cells depended on M-CSF, many L-DC developed independently of M-CSF. Furthermore, purified hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) and multipotential progenitors (MPP) isolated from neonatal D1 spleen are capable of developing into L-DC in co-cultures. These studies reveal a lineage of dendritic-like cells developing in the spleen microenvironment, and which appear to arise from endogenous progenitors laid down in spleen during embryogenesis.