Latent transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) binding protein 2 (LTBP-2) is an integral component of elastin-containing microfibrils. We studied the expression of LTBP-2 in the developing mouse and rat by in situ hybridization, using tropoelastin expression as a marker of tissues participating in elastic fiber formation. LTBP-2 colocalized with tropoelastin within the perichondrium, lung, dermis, large arterial vessels, epicardium, pericardium, and heart valves at various stages of rodent embryonic development. Both LTBP-2 and tropoelastin expression were seen throughout the lung parenchyma and within the cortex of the spleen in the young adult mouse. In the testes, LTBP-2 expression was seen within lumenal cells of the epididymis in the absence of tropoelastin. Collectively, these results imply that LTBP-2 plays a structural role within elastic fibers in most cases. To investigate its importance in development, mice with a targeted disruption of the Ltbp2 gene were generated. Ltbp2(-/-) mice die between embryonic day 3.5 (E3.5) and E6.5. LTBP-2 expression was not detected by in situ hybridization in E6.5 embryos but was detected in E3.5 blastocysts by reverse transcription-PCR. These results are not consistent with the phenotypes of TGF-β knockout mice or mice with knockouts of other elastic fiber proteins, implying that LTBP-2 performs a yet undiscovered function in early development, perhaps in implantation.