Abstract This study aimed at investigating and influencing the basic electrophysiological functions and neuronal plasticity in the dentate gyrus in freely moving rats at several time-points after global ischemia. Although neuronal death was induced selectively in the cornu ammonis, subfield 1 (CA1)-region of the hippocampus, we found an additional loss of the population spike in the dentate gyrus after stimulation of the perforant path. Input/output-measurements revealed that as early as 1 day post-ischemia population spike generation in the granular cell layer is greatly decreased when compared with pre-ischemic values and to sham-operated animals, despite an apparently intact morphology of granular cells as evidenced by Nissl-staining. In contrast, the synaptic transmission (excitatory postsynaptic field potential) shows no significant difference when comparing values before and after ischemia and ischemic and sham-operated animals. Despite reduced output function, indicated by very small population spike amplitudes, long lasting potentiation can be induced 10 days after ischemia. Surprisingly, even “silent” populations of neurons, which appear selectively post-ischemia and do not show any evoked population spike, can be re-activated by tetanisation which is followed by a normal appearing long-term potentiation. However, this functional recovery seems to be partial and transient under current conditions: population spike-values do not reach pre-ischemic values and return to the low pre-tetanic baseline values the next day. Electrophysiological measurements ex vivo after ischemia indicate that the neuronal dysfunction in the dentate gyrus is not due to locally destroyed structures but that the activity of granular cells is merely suppressed only under in vivo conditions. In summary, global ischemia leaves a neighboring morphologically intact input area, functionally impaired. However, neuronal function can be partially regenerated by electrophysiological tetanic stimulation.