A disintegrin and metalloprotease with thrombospondin type 1 motifs (ADAMTS) is a family of extracellular proteases and implicated in cleaving proteoglycans, such as aggrecan, versican and brevican. No information is available about expression or localization of these ADAMTSs in teeth. Versican is a large chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan that is present in a variety of connective tissue including dental pulp, dentin, cementum and periodontal ligaments. The present study was designed to investigate expression of ADAMTSs and versican during rat tooth eruption. Rat maxillary first molars in weeks 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6 were examined. The mRNA expression of ADAMTS1, ADAMTS4, ADAMTS5 and versican was localized using in situ hybridization. ADAMTS1, ADAMTS4, ADAMTS5 and versican were expressed in dental pulp cells, odontoblasts, cementoblasts, cementocytes, periodontal ligament cells, osteoblasts and osteocytes. The temporal and spatial expression pattern in these cellular phenotypes was comparable among ADAMTSs and versican. The present study suggests that dental pulp cells, odontoblasts, cementoblasts, cementocytes, periodontal ligament cells, osteoblasts and osteocytes may be involved in both production and degradation of versican with secreting ADAMTS1, ADAMTS4 and ADAMTS5.