Changes in intracellular localization of argyrophilic proteins visualized as silver-stained particles by nuclear organizer region (NOR)-silver staining were investigated in starfish oocyte maturation. The silver-stained particles were localized in the germinal vesicle and nucleolus of immature oocytes and dispersed into the cytoplasm at the time of germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD). In the mature egg cytoplasm, silver-stained particles were distributed on yolk-like granules with diameters of 0.3-1.0 microns. In spermatozoa, silver-stained particles were detected heavily in the acrosome and centrosomes but few were detected in the nucleus, whereas they were present in the male pronucleus of fertilized eggs. The silver-stained particles were removed by pretreatment of eggs with protease but not with nuclease. These results indicate that argyrophilic proteins disperse to the egg cytoplasm during GVBD and might be incorporated to the male pronucleus from the egg cytoplasm in fertilization. The morphological changes from chromosomes through chromosome vesicles to female pronucleus were also observed with light microscopy after NOR-silver staining.