Dendritic cells (DC) are important antigen presenting cells (APC) which induce and control the adaptive immune response. In spleen alone, multiple DC subsets can be distinguished by cell surface marker phenotype. Most of these have been shown to develop from progenitors in bone marrow and to seed lymphoid and tissue sites during development. This study advances in vitro methodology for hematopoiesis of dendritic-like cells from progenitors in spleen. Since spleen progenitors undergo differentiation in vitro to produce these cells, the possibility exists that spleen represents a specific niche for differentiation of this subset. The fact that an equivalent cell subset has been shown to exist in spleen also supports that hypothesis. Studies have been directed at investigating the specific functional role of this novel subset as an APC accessible to blood-borne antigen, as well as the conditions under which hematopoiesis is initiated in spleen, and the type of progenitor involved.