To date, three closely-related TGF beta genes have been found in the mouse; TGF beta 1, TGF beta 2 and TGF beta 3. Previous experiments have indicated that TGF beta 1 and TGF beta 2 may play important roles during mouse embryogenesis. The present study now reports the distribution of transcripts of TGF beta 3 in comparison to the other two genes and reveals overlapping but distinct patterns of RNA expression. TGF beta 3 RNA is expressed in a diverse array of tissues including perichondrium, bone, intervertebral discs, mesenteries, pleura, heart, lung, palate, and amnion, as well as in central nervous system (CNS) structures such as the meninges, choroid plexus and the olfactory bulbs. Furthermore, in several organ systems, TGF beta 3 transcripts are expressed during periods of active morphogenesis suggesting that the protein may be an important factor for the growth and differentiation of many embryonic tissues.