Claudins belong to a family of transmembrane proteins that were identified as components of tight junction strands. We carried out comparative in situ hybridization analysis of 11 claudin genes (claudin1 – claudin11) during murine odontogenesis from the formation of the epithelial thickening to the cytodifferentiation stage. We identify dynamic spatiotemporal expression of 9 of the 11 claudins. At the early bell stage, two claudins (claudin1 and 4) are specifically expressed in stratum intemedium, whereas only one claudin is expressed in each of the preameloblasts (claudin2) and preodontoblasts (claudin10). At the bud stage, when the first epithelial differentiation pathways are being established, localized expression of six claudins (claudin1, 3, 4, 6, 7, and 10) identify spatial specific interactions, suggesting a hitherto unobserved complexity of epithelial organization, within the early tooth primordium. Developmental Dynamics 236:290–294, 2007. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.