The effects of oxytocin on dispersed luteal cells from human corpora lutea of the menstrual cycle were studied. Oxytocin at a concentration of 4 mi.u./ml produced a slight increase in basal progesterone production. However, higher oxytocin concentrations (400 and 800 mi.u./ml) markedly inhibited both basal and human chorionic gonadotrophin-induced progesterone production. These data provide evidence for an effect of oxytocin on the human corpus luteum. In view of the inhibitory action of oxytocin, increased secretion of this hormone may be important in the demise of the corpus luteum at the end of the menstrual cycle.