Homeobox gene expression in human preimplantation development has not been established. We used reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) with intron spanning primer sets to investigate the presence of mRNA of homeobox genes in human oocytes and preembryos. RT-PCR products obtained from normal and unfertilized oocytes, from cleaving normal and triploid embryos, and from morulae and blastocysts were cloned, sequenced, and analyzed for the presence of homeobox sequences. The presence of mRNA of homeoboxes HoxA4 and HoxA7 was demonstrated; HoxA4 was present in normal and unfertilized oocytes and also in a 4-cell embryo. HoxA7 was present in normal oocytes and cleaving triploid embryos.