Lymphoid neogenesis is associated with antibody-mediated autoimmune diseases such as Sjogren's syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis. Although systemic lupus erythematosus is the prototypical B-cell-mediated autoimmune disease, the role of lymphoid neogenesis in its pathogenesis is unknown. Intraperitoneal injection of 2,6,10,14-tetramethyl-pentadecane (TMPD, pristane) or mineral oil causes lipogranuloma formation in mice, but only TMPD-treated mice develop lupus. We report that lipogranulomas are a form of lymphoid neogenesis. Immunoperoxidase staining of lipogranulomas revealed B cells, CD4(+) T cells, and dendritic cells and in some cases organization into T- and B-cell zones. Lipogranulomas also expressed the lymphoid chemokines CCL21, CCL19, CXCL13, CXCL12, and CCL22. Expression of the type I interferon (IFN-I)-inducible genes Mx1, IRF7, IP-10, and ISG-15 was greatly increased in TMPD- versus mineral oil-induced lipogranulomas. Dendritic cells from TMPD lipogranulomas underwent activation/maturation with high CD86 and interleukin-12 expression. Magnetic bead depletion of dendritic cells markedly diminished IFN-inducible gene (Mx1) expression. We conclude that TMPD-induced lupus is associated with the formation of ectopic lymphoid tissue containing activated dendritic cells producing IFN-I and interleukin-12. In view of the increased IFN-I production in systemic lupus erythematosus, these studies suggest that IFN-I from ectopic lymphoid tissue could play a role in the pathogenesis of experimental lupus in mice.