Oogenesis is a highly complex process that requires the exquisite temporal and spatial regulation of gene expression at multiple levels. Skin–embryo–brain–oocyte homeobox (Sebox) gene encodes a transcription factor that is highly expressed in germinal vesicle stage oocytes and that plays an essential role in early embryogenesis at the 2-cell stage in the mouse. As Sebox is also expressed in mouse fetal ovaries, the aim of the present study was to study its role during the early oogenesis in vitro. Expression of Sebox was low in 15.5 to 17.5 days post coitum (dpc) ovaries, showed a peak at 18.5 dpc and then its expression decreased dramatically in newborn ovaries. Sebox expression was efficiently knocked down (>80%) in fetal mouse ovary explants in culture using RNAi technology. When fetal ovary explants were transfected with Sebox-specific RNAi, the number of oocytes at germinal vesicle stage and showing a diameter of 40–70 μm was decreased significantly to 75% after 7 days of culture relative to the negative control, and to 22.4% after 10 days of culture, thus indicating that Sebox plays an important role in the early oogenesis in mice.