Identification of a novel cell type in peripheral lymphoid organs of mice. I. Morphology, quantitation, tissue distribution

J Exp Med. 1973 May 1;137(5):1142-62. doi: 10.1084/jem.137.5.1142.


A novel cell type has been identified in adherent cell populations prepared from mouse peripheral lymphoid organs (spleen, lymph node, Peyer's patch). Though present in small numbers (0.1-1.6% of the total nucleated cells) the cells have distinct morphological features. The nucleus is large, retractile, contorted in shape, and contains small nucleoli (usually two). The abundant cytoplasm is arranged in processes of varying length and width and contains many large spherical mitochondria. In the living state, the cells undergo characteristic movements, and unlike macrophages, do not appear to engage in active endocytosis. The term, dendritic cell, is proposed for this novel cell type.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Nucleus
  • Cell Separation
  • Cytological Techniques
  • Cytoplasmic Granules
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Liver / cytology
  • Lymph Nodes / cytology
  • Lymphoid Tissue / cytology*
  • Macrophages / cytology
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Microscopy, Phase-Contrast
  • Mitochondria
  • Peyer's Patches / cytology
  • Spleen / cytology
  • Thymus Gland / cytology