Differences in gene expression patterns between adult and postnatal day 7 (P7) mouse cerebellum, at the peak of granule neuron migration, were analyzed by hybridization to the GLYCOv2 glycogene array. This custom designed oligonucleotide array focuses on glycosyl transferases, carbohydrate-binding proteins, proteoglycans and related genes, and 173 genes were identified as being differentially expressed with statistical confidence. Expression levels for 11 of these genes were compared by RT-PCR, and their differential expression between P7 and adult cerebellum confirmed. Within the group of genes showing differential expression, the sialyltransferases (SiaTs) and GalNAc-Ts that were elevated at P7 prefer glycoprotein substrates, whilst the SiaTs and GalNAc-Ts that were elevated in the adult preferentially modify glycolipids, consistent with a role for gangliosides in maintaining neuronal function in the adult. Also within this group, three proteoglycans--versican, bamacan and glypican-2--were elevated at P7, along with growth factor midkine, which is known to bind to multiple types of proteoglycans, and fibroblast growth factor receptor 1, whose activity is known to be influenced by heparan sulfate proteoglycans. Two sulfotransferases that can modify the extent of proteoglycan sulfation were also differentially regulated, and may modify the interaction of a subset of proteoglycans with their binding partners during cerebellar development. Bamacan, glypican-2 and midkine were shown to be expressed in different cell types, and their roles in cerebellar development during granule neuron migration and maturation are discussed.