, Volume 443, Issue 6, pp 703-717
Date: 28 Oct 2003

The plasmacytoid monocyte/interferon producing cells

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Introduction

In 1958 Lennert and Remmele drew attention to a cell type present in the interfollicular areas of human lymph nodes that they described (on the basis of pure morphology) as a “lymphoblast” [79]. This cell type was subsequently recognized by other hematopathologists, but it received little attention until the availability in the 1980s of antibodies to lineage-associated markers that allowed it to be more easily recognized in tissue sections. This led to studies of its phenotype and of its involvement in a number of pathological conditions.

As a result of these studies by hematopathologists, the cell was given a number of different names, including “T-associated plasma cell” [80], “plasmacytoid T cell” [91, 127], “plasmacytoid T-zone cell” [63] and “plasmacytoid monocyte” [34]. However, there were few clues to its functions and its developmental relationship to other hematopoietic cells until, in the late 1990s, several laboratories started to isolate these cells (and their pr