We report full-term development of nuclear transfer embryos following nuclear exchange at the 2-cell stage. Nuclei from 2-cell rat embryos were transferred into enucleated 2-cell embryos and developed to term after transfer to recipients (NT2). Pronuclear exchange in zygotes was used for comparison (NT1). Zygotes and 2-cell embryos were harvested from 4-week-old female Sprague-Dawley rats. Nuclear transfer was performed by transferring the pronuclei or karyoplasts into the perivitelline space of recipient embryos followed by electrofusion to reconstruct embryos. Fused couplets were cultured for 4 or 24 h before being transferred into day 1 pseudopregnant recipients (Hooded Wistar) at the 1- or 2-cell stage. In vitro culture was also carried out to check the developmental competence of the embryos. In vitro development to the blastocyst stage was not significantly different between the two groups (NT1, 34.3%; NT2, 45.0%). Two of three recipients from NT1 and two of five recipients from NT2 became pregnant. Six pups (3 from NT1, 3 from NT2) were delivered from the four foster mothers. Three female pups survived; 2 from NT1 and 1 from NT2. At 2 months of age these pups appeared healthy, and were mated with Sprague-Dawley males. One rat derived from NT1 delivered 15 pups (5 males, 10 females) as did the rat from NT2 (7 males, 8 females). Our results show that by using karyoplasts from 2-cell stage embryos as nuclear donors and reconstructing them with enucleated 2-cell embryos, healthy rats can be produced.