Pronuclear formation and intracellular content of glutathione, containing reduced and oxidised forms, in porcine oocytes matured in vitro were determined following insemination and/or electrical stimulation. After insemination, sperm penetration had occurred as early as 3 h and female pronuclei had formed by 6 h with complete development by 12 h. Male pronuclear formation occurred, primarily, between 9 and 12 h after insemination. Glutathione content of the oocytes decreased following sperm penetration and remained at a depressed level until 12 h. After electrical stimulation, oocyte activation had occurred and female pronuclei had formed by 3 and 6 h, respectively. Oocyte glutathione content did not change as a result of oocyte activation. When oocytes were exposed to an electrical pulse and then spermatozoa, female pronuclear formation was observed by 3 h after stimulation/insemination. Sperm penetration was observed between 3 and 9 h. However, the incidence of male pronuclear formation observed at 12 h was extremely low, although sperm decondensation had occurred in some oocytes. Oocyte glutathione content had not decreased by 6 h following electrical activation. These results demonstrate that the changes in glutathione content in porcine oocytes following fertilisation in vitro differ from those due to electrical activation. Further, the decreased intracellular glutathione content in oocytes activated by sperm penetration appears to be due to the presence of a sperm factor.