Plasmacytoid dendritic cell (pDC) precursors, also called type I IFN (alpha/beta/omega)-producing cells (IPCs), are the key effectors in the innate immune system because of their extraordinary capacity to produce type I IFNs against microbial infection, particularly viral infection. In contrast to myeloid DCs, human pDC/IPCs selectively express Toll-like receptor (TLR) 7 and TLR9 within the endosomal compartment. These receptors are specifically designed to recognize the nucleoside-based products derived from RNA viruses and DNA viruses. Therefore, this expression profile potentially enables pDC/IPCs to sense a variety of viruses. Stimulation of TLR7 or TLR9 leads to type I IFN responses through the MyD88 pathway. Thus, pDC/IPCs may play a central role in host defense against viral infection through the TLR7 and TLR9 system.