Ectodysplasin (Eda), a member of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) superfamily, and its receptor Edar are necessary components of ectodermal organ development. Analysis of their expression patterns and mutant phenotypes has shown that during mouse hair and tooth development they may be involved in signalling between separate epithelial compartments. Here we have analysed ectodysplasin and Edar expression in other embryonic mouse tissues, and show that Edar mRNA is confined to the epithelium. Ectodysplasin and Edar are expressed in separate epithelial compartments in the developing brain and the lacrimal gland. In the salivary gland ectodysplasin is expressed in the mesenchyme and Edar in the epithelium. This is the first indication of ectodysplasin-Edar signalling between the epithelium and the mesenchyme. We also studied the expression pattern of a related TNF receptor, TNFRSF19, and show that it is expressed in an overlapping domain with Edar in the tooth, mammary gland, whiskers, and limb bud suggesting a potentially redundant role.