Cell adhesion molecules and extracellular matrix molecules have important roles in cell migration and connection. Their developmental expression has not been fully described in humans. In this report, these molecules were examined by immunohistochemistry in frontal tissue samples from 14- to 28-week-old fetuses aborted for obstetric reasons (n = 20) and four fetuses with nervous system abnormalities. Neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM), tenascin, and laminin were expressed after 17 weeks. Neural cell adhesion molecule was observed in the neuropil, whereas tenascin and laminin also had cellular and vascular expression. Thrombospondin and fibronectin, apparent after 14 weeks, showed a redistribution from periventricular to outer cortical layers after midgestation. N-cadherin and integrin were observed in mid- and late gestation. Maternal or environmental conditions seemed to influence the pattern of expression. Fetuses with nervous system abnormalities had altered expression of several molecules. The descriptive data obtained in this study might constitute a basis for further studies investigating the role of these molecules in developmental abnormalities of the brain.