The objective of the present study was to investigate the effects of leptin addition in in vitro maturation (IVM) medium on meiotic maturation of oocytes and preimplantation development of parthenogenetic and cloned embryos in pigs. In experiment 1, oocytes were matured in North Carolina State University 23 (NCSU-23) medium supplemented with various concentrations of leptin: 0, 1, 10 and 100 ng/ml. IVM medium added with 10 or 100 ng/ml leptin significantly increased the rate of oocytes reaching metaphase II compared to the control (76.8% and 73.8% versus 61.7%). In experiment 2, the influence of the timing of leptin addition in IVM medium on meiotic maturation of porcine oocytes was assessed, and maximum maturation rate of oocytes developing to metaphase II was achieved when supplemented during the first half (0-22 h), the latter half (22-44 h) or the entire maturation period (0-44 h) compared to the control (80.5%, 84.7% and 78.1% versus 70.4%). In experiment 3, leptin strikingly increased the blastocyst rate of parthenogenetic embryos at the concentration of 10 ng/ml (37.5% versus 21.7%) and this increase was independent of the addition timing (0-44, 0-22, 22-44 h) compared to the control (32.5%, 34.6% and 31.5% versus 16.2%). Moreover, total cell number per blastocyst of parthenogenetic embryos was obviously increased in the 10 and 100 ng/ml leptin treatments as compared with the control (36, 38 versus 28). In experiment 4, 10 ng/ml leptin treatment significantly increased the rate of cleavage (72% versus 56%) of cloned embryos. Meanwhile, the rate of blastocyst formation was also improved although no significant difference was found (12.8% versus 7.1%). Collectively, our results indicate that leptin supplementation in IVM medium may be beneficial not only for developmental potential of oocytes but for subsequent developmental competence of embryos produced by parthenogenetic activation and the cleavage of embryos derived by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT).