The present study examined whether treatment of in vitro matured pig oocytes with calcium ionophore (A23187) could prevent polyspermic penetration in vitro. When oocytes cultured for maturation for 33, 36 or 44 h were subsequently treated with
A23187 in medium with fetal calf serum (FCS) for 1, 2 and 3 h and then cultured for 12 h without spermatozoa, virtually no activation occurred. In the absence of FCS, however, 31-42, 45-49 and 56-64% of oocytes were activated, respectively. When oocytes treated with
A23187 in medium with FCS for 3 h were inseminated in vitro, the penetration rates (14-57%) were lower (p<0.01) with a higher (p<0.01) incidence (35-67%) of monospermy compared with untreated oocytes (69-80% penetration and 15-17% monospermy). However, sperm penetration was completely blocked in all oocytes treated with A23187 in the absence of FCS. When oocytes matured for 33 h were treated with different concentrations of A23187 for 3 h and inseminated in vitro, the penetration rate did not change but there was an increased incidence (p<0.05) of monospermy at
A23187 in the presence and absence of FCS, respectively, compared with at
A23187. With these lower concentrations of A23187, treatment of oocytes for at least 60 and 30 min in the presence and absence of FCS, respectively, was required to increase the incidence of monospermy without reducing penetration rate. These results indicate that a high concentration (
) of A23187 in medium without FCS, but not in medium with FCS, stimulated in vitro matured pig oocytes to induce parthenogenetic activation and a complete block to sperm penetration in vitro. However, treatment of oocytes with lower concentrations of A23187 (
) both in the presence and absence of FCS maintained sperm penetration in vitro and increased the incidence of monospermy.