Matrex gel red A purified follicular fluid has been used to study whether or not this material contains sialic acid residues and their importance in maintaining the biological activity of inhibin both in vitro and in vivo. It appears that sialic acid is present in these preparations and can be released either by neuraminidase treatment of acid hydrolysis. The addition of intact and desialylated inhibin-containing material to isolated rat pituitary cells in culture gives similar inhibition of LHRH-induced FSH release of these cells indicating that sialic acid is not required for inhibin activity in vitro. The injection of intact inhibin preparations leads to a reduction of the uterine weight increase seen in immature female mice primed with human chorionic gonadotropin. By contrast, the inhibition of this uterine weight increment by 80% desialylated inhibin-containing material is significantly reduced, suggesting that sialic acid residues play an important role in maintaining the biological activity of inhibin in vivo.