It is unknown whether or not tight junction formation plays any role in morula to blastocyst transformation that is associated with development of polarized trophoblast cells and fluid accumulation. Tight junctions are a hallmark of polarized epithelial cells and zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1) is a known key regulator of tight junction formation. Here we show that ZO-1 protein is first expressed during compaction of 8-cell embryos. This stage-specific appearance of ZO-1 suggests its participation in morula to blastocyst transition. Consistent with this idea, we demonstrate that ZO-1 siRNA delivery inside the blastomeres of zona-weakened embryos using electroporation not only knocks down ZO-1 gene and protein expressions, but also inhibits morula to blastocyst transformation in a concentration-dependent manner. In addition, ZO-1 inactivation reduced the expression of Cdx2 and Oct-4, but not ZO-2 and F-actin. These results provide the first evidence that ZO-1 is involved in blastocyst formation from the morula by regulating accumulation of fluid and differentiation of nonpolar blastomeres to polar trophoblast cells.