BackgroundRecent studies have shown that circular RNA (circRNA) is rich in microRNA (miRNA) binding sites. We have previously demonstrated that the antidepressant effect of ketamine is related to the abnormal expression of various miRNAs in the brain. This study determined the expression profile of circRNAs in the hippocampus of rats treated with ketamine.MethodsThe aberrantly expressed circRNAs in rat hippocampus after ketamine injection were analyzed by microarray chip, and we further validated these circRNAs by quantitative reverse-transcription PCR (qRT-PCR). The target genes of the different circRNAs were predicted using bioinformatic analyses, and the functions and signal pathways of these target genes were investigated by Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway analyses.ResultsMicroarray analysis showed that five circRNAs were aberrantly expressed in rat hippocampus after ketamine injection (fold change > 2.0, p < 0.05). The results from the qRT-PCR showed that one of the circRNAs was significantly increased (rno_circRNA_014900; fold change = 2.37; p = 0.03), while one was significantly reduced (rno_circRNA_005442; fold change = 0.37; p = 0.01). We discovered a significant enrichment in several GO terms and pathways associated with depression.ConclusionOur findings showed the abnormal expression of ketamine-induced hippocampal circRNAs in rats.