Summary. Mouse oocytes matured in vitro in chemically defined medium were not penetrated by spermatozoa. The time required for dissolution of the zona pellucida of such oocytes by α-chymotrypsin was much longer than that for ovulated oocytes. Addition of fetal calf serum to the medium for maturation of oocytes improved the incidence of sperm penetration and shortened the time of enzymic dissolution of the zona pellucida. These results suggest that the low rate of fertilization of oocytes matured in vitro is mainly due to qualitative changes of the zona pellucida, which could be overcome by a factor or factors in fetal calf serum.
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