Abstract Bilateral inferior olive lesions, produced by systemic administration of the neurotoxin 3acetylpyridine (3AP) produce a proconvulsant state specific for strychnine-induced seizures and myoclonus. We have proposed that these phenomena are mediated through increased excitation of cerebellar Purkinje cells, through activation of glutamate receptors, in response to climbing fiber deafferentation. An increase in quisqualic acid (QA)-displaceable [ 3H]AMPA [(RS)-alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-isoxazole-4-propionic acid] binding in cerebella from inferior olive-lesioned rats was observed, but no difference in [ 3H]AMPA binding displaced by glutamate, kainic acid (KA) or glutamate diethylester (GDEE) was seen. The excitatory amino acid antagonists GDEE and MK-801 [(+)-5-methyl-10,11-dihydro-5H-dibenzo[a,d]cyclo-hepten-5,10 imine] were tested as anticonvulsants for strychnine-induced seizures in 3AP inferior olive-lesioned and control rats. Neither drug effected seizures in control rats, however, both GDEE and MK-801 produced a leftward shift in the strychnine-seizure dose-response curve in 3AP inferior olivelesioned rats. GDEE also inhibited strychnine-induced myoclonus in the lesioned group, while MK-801 had no effect on myoclonus. The decreased threshold for strychnine-induced seizures and myoclonus in the 3AP-inferior olive-lesioned rats may be due to an increase in glutamate receptors as suggested by the [ 3H]AMPA binding data.