The effects of theophylline (a phosphodiesterase inhibitor) and cAMP on 17α, 20ß-dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one-induced germinal vesicle breakdown was investigatedin vitro in catfish (Clarias batrachus) oocytes. Folliculated oocytes incubated with 17α, 20ß-dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one at the concentration of 1 μg/ml induced 93.2 ± 2.23% germinal vesicle breakdown. When the oocytes were prestimulated with 17α,20ß-dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one for 6 h and then treated with different concentrations of theophylline, there was a significant drop in the frequency of germinal vesicle breakdown at the concentrations 2.0, 1.5 and 1.0 mM. However, theophylline was found to be incapable of inhibiting germinal vesicle breakdown at its lowest concentration (0.5 inM). In the time course study, significant inhibition of germinal vesicle breakdown was recorded when 1 mM theophylline was added up to 30 h of 17α,20ß-dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one Stimulation but the inhibitory effect of theophylline gradually (time dependent manner) declined if the stimulatory time of 17α,20ß-dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one was increased. A similar inhibition of germinal vesicle breakdown was also recorded with various concentrations of cAMP. Except 0.5 mM, all the higher concentrations of cAMP significantly inhibited 17α,20ß-dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one induced germinal vesicle breakdown.