noun, plural: lymphoid dendritic cells
An antigen-presenting white blood cell derived from the lymphoid lineage of hematopoiesis
Dendritic cells are white blood cells morphologically characterized by having branching processes (dendrites). These cells occur in the mammalian immune system. They are primarily involved in antigen presentation, i.e. processing an antigen material and presenting it on the surface of their cell for T cell recognition. There are two lineages by which dendritic cells come from, i.e. myeloid and lymphoid. The myeloid series of hematopoiesis give rise to the myeloid dendritic cells whereas the lymphoid series gives rise to the lymphoid dendritic cells.
In hematopoiesis, the precursor cells of the lymphoid dendritic cells are the common lymphoid progenitor cells. These progenitor cells, though, also give rise to lymphocytes, including plasma cells. The plasmacytoid dendritic cells are lymphoid dendritic cells that resemble plasma cells (thus, the name). Plasma cells, though, are chiefly involved in the production of antibodies. The plasmacytoid dendritic cells are immune cells that produce type 1 interferons in profuse amounts, especially during viral infection. As such, they were formerly referred to as interferon-producing cells.1
1 Liu, Y.J. (2005). “IPC: professional type 1 interferon-producing cells and plasmacytoid dendritic cell precursors”. Annu. Rev. Immunol. 23 (1): 275–306.