A mucin coat is deposited on rabbit embryos during passage through the oviduct; rabbit blastocysts cultured from the 1-cell stage in vitro have no mucin coat. When cultured blastocysts are transferred to recipients, the lack of mucin coat might account in part for subsequent failure of pregnancy. We have investigated the possibility that mucin coat deposition is induced following transfer of in vitro 72 h-cultured blastocysts to oviducts of asynchronous or synchronous recipients. One-cell embryos were collected by flushing oviducts 19–20 h post-coitus and were cultured in vitro for 72 h until they reached the blastocyst stage. The blastocysts were transferred to the oviducts of recipients that were synchronized either with the donors (synchronous) or 1 day later than the donors (asynchronous). They were recovered after 24–48 h and the mucin coat thickness and embryo degeneration rate were measured. The degeneration rate of blastocysts recovered from uteri of synchronous recipients was higher than that from asynchronous recipients (72.2% vs 40.0%). The mucin coats around embryos recovered from oviducts of asynchronous recipients after 48 h were thicker than those from synchronous recipients. More asynchronous recipients were pregnant and gave birth to more pups than synchronous recipients. These results indicate that the oviducts of asynchronous recipients secreted more mucin around the transferred embryos, causing higher rates of implantation of the in vitro-cultured blastocysts.