When in vitro-matured oocytes were enucleated, aged and kept at 10°C before reconstitution, the in vitro development of nuclear transfer embryos to the blastocyst stage did not differ from that obtained with in vitro fertilization. This suggests that these recipient cytoplasts constitute a suitable environment for the development of the nuclear transplant. The aim of the present study was to investigate, at the biochemical level, the result of the preparation of recipient oocytes, including enucleation, ageing and cooling. For this purpose the phosphorylation profiles of four groups of in vitro-matured bovine oocytes (aged oocytes, aged-cooled oocytes, enucleated-aged oocytes and enucleated-aged-cooled oocytes (recipient cytoplasts)) were analyzed. These recipient cytoplasts exhibited a phosphorylation profile similar to that of activated oocytes. Maturation promoting factor (MPF) activity, which was high in young metaphase II oocytes, in aged oocytes, in enucleated-aged oocytes and in aged-cooled oocytes, dropped to the basal level in enucleated-aged-cooled oocytes (recipient cytoplasts), while mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activity remained elevated. The combination of enucleation, ageing and cooling following oocyte in vitro maturation resulted in an interphase-like stage cytoplasm having a phosphorylation profile and low MPF activity similar to activated oocytes, but exhibiting high MAPK activity.