Phospholipid hydroperoxide glutathione peroxidase (PHGPx) is the only known intracellular antioxidant enzyme that can directly reduce lipid hydroperoxide in membrane. Mitochondrial and non-mitochondrial PHGPx and sperm nuclei GPx are transcribed from one gene by alternative transcription using different first exons Ia and Ib, respectively. To examine the role of PHGPx in development, we generated mice deficient in PHGPx by a targeted disruption of all exons of the PHGPx gene. Heterozygotes are viable, fertile, and appear normal, despite having decreased levels of three types of PHGPx mRNA and protein. Embryos homozygous for PHGPx-null die between 7.5 and 8.5 days post coitum (dpc), probably developing distal apoptosis. We examined the expression of PHGPx in mouse embryos using immunohistochemical analysis with anti-PHGPx mAb. The expression of PHGPx was detected in the embryonic ectoderm and the yolk sac membrane at 7.5dpc. The results demonstrated that PHGPx is expressed in early gastrulation stage at 7.5dpc and that the expression of PHGPx was essential for normal mouse development.