There is evidence that growth factors, such as the insulin-like growth factors (IGFs), are involved in biological and pathological processes in oro-dento-facial tissues. To investigate their roles in tooth movement, root resorption, and repair, the occurrence of components of the IGF system, including the ligands IGF-I and -II, the IGF receptor 1 (IGF1R) and six IGF-binding proteins (IGFBP-1 to -6), was investigated by immunohistochemistry on sections from rat maxillae where the first molar had been moved mesially by means of an orthodontic appliance for 9 d to induce root resorption. After force deactivation on day 0, early repair was studied after a further 5, 7, 10, 12, 14, and 17 d. The immunostaining pattern in the periodontal ligament, cementum, and bone of control animals showed similarities known from studies in human teeth. Increased immunostaining for nearly all components in pressure sides and resorption lacunae indicated an involvement in resorption processes and clastic activities. During early stages of repair, the occurrence of several components (e.g. IGF-II, IGFBP-5 or -6) within lacunae and in cementoblasts showed an involvement in the resorption-repair sequence, which is considered to be a coupling process as known from bone.