Adult murine spleen is known to have a major role in the development of dendritic cell (DC) subsets, including conventional DC and plasmacytoid DC. In this lab, long-term cultures (LTCs) established from murine spleen support continuous production of novel dendritic-like cells, termed LTC-DC. An in vivo equivalent subset also exists in spleen, namely L-DC. As co-cultures using LTC-derived splenic stroma support the outgrowth of L-DC from spleen and bone marrow sources, it is likely that spleen represents an important niche for DC development. To investigate the appearance of L-DC during ontogeny, spleen was isolated from embryonic and neonatal mice of different ages for analysis of myeloid and DC subsets. Perinatal spleen was also used to establish co-cultures for identification of progenitors, and LTCs were established from spleens for assessment of stromal competence. Although spleen from 16-day embryos (E16.5) contained myeloid cells, DC subsets did not appear until day 4 after birth (D4). However, murine spleen at D0 contained progenitors, which could seed co-cultures for L-DC production. LTC could not be established from spleen until D4. The appearance of L-DC after D4 in spleen is dependent on the formation of the appropriate stromal microenvironment which occurs in the early postnatal period.