Matrix remodeling is regulated by matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs). Periostin, originally identified in a mouse osteoblastic library, plays a role in cell adhesion and migration and in mechanical stress-induced matrix remodeling. In this study, we analyzed and compared the distribution patterns of TIMP-2 and periostin during mouse mandible development. Immunohistochemical staining for TIMP-2 and periostin was carried out on serial cryosections obtained from mice at embryonic days 13-16, postnatal day 2 (P2), P35, and 12 weeks of age. TIMP-2 and periostin exhibited a strikingly similar protein distribution during mandible development. From bud to early bell stages of molars, TIMP-2 and periostin were highly expressed on the lingual and anterior sides of the basement membrane and on the adjacent jaw mesenchyme. In pre- and postnatal incisors, the basement membrane of the apical loop and dental follicle was immunostained for TIMP-2 and periostin. At postnatal stages, TIMP-2 and periostin were prominently confined to the extracellular matrix (ECM) of gingival tissues, periodontal ligaments, and tendons (all recipients of mechanical strain). However, periostin was solely detected in the lower portion of the inner root sheath of hair follicles. Gingiva of P2 cultured in anti-TIMP-2 antibody-conditioned medium showed markedly reduced staining of periostin. We suggest that TIMP-2 and periostin are co-distributed on ECM exposed to mechanical forces and coordinately function as ECM modulators.