In mammalian and amphibian oocytes, the meiotic arrest at the G2/M transition is dependent on cAMP regulation. Because genetic inactivation of a phosphodiesterase expressed in oocytes prevents reentry into the cell cycle, suggesting autonomous cAMP synthesis, we investigated the presence and properties of the G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) in rodent oocytes. The pattern of expression was defined using three independent strategies, including microarray analysis of GV oocyte mRNAs, EST database scanning, and RT-PCR amplification with degenerated primers against transmembrane regions conserved in the GPCR superfamily. Clustering of the GPCR mRNAs from rat and mouse oocytes indicated the expression of the closely related Gpr3, Gpr12, and Edg3, which recognize sphingosine and its metabolites as ligands. Expression of these mRNAs was confirmed by RT-PCR with specific primers as well as by in situ hybridization. That these receptors are involved in the control of cAMP levels in oocytes was indicated by the finding that expression of the mRNA for Gpr3 and Gpr12 is downregulated in Pde3a-deficient oocytes, which have a chronic elevation of cAMP levels. Expression of GPR3 or GPR12 in Xenopus laevis oocytes prevented progesterone-induced meiotic maturation, whereas expression of FSHR had no effect. A block in spontaneous oocyte maturation was also induced when Gpr3 or Gpr12 mRNA was injected into mouse oocytes. Downregulation of GPR3 and GPR12 caused meiotic resumption in mouse and rat oocytes, respectively. However, ablation of the Gpr12 gene in the mouse did not cause a leaky meiotic arrest, suggesting compensation by Gpr3. Incubation of mouse oocytes with the GPR3/12 ligands SPC and S1P delayed spontaneous oocyte maturation. We propose that the cAMP levels required for maintaining meiotic arrest in mouse and rat oocytes are dependent on the expression of Gpr3 and/or Gpr12.