The study examines changes in the function of perforant pathway dentate granule cell synapses after pentylenetetrazol (PTZ) kindling. Field potentials evoked in the dentate area by test stimuli to the perforant pathway were recorded in freely moving rats at different times after injection of PTZ. In fully kindled animals, but not in sham-kindled controls, subconvulsive test doses of PTZ induced long-lasting potentiation of the population spike. Also, potentiation was not induced in naive controls injected with equieffective doses of the convulsant. The slope function of the field EPSP was depressed 90-120 min after PTZ administration, in both kindled and control animals, indicating that this was an effect of acute-injected PTZ. Later on, only in kindled animals that showed seizure stages 4 or 5 did it increase in parallel with the population spike potentiation. Finally, when compared to controls the kindled animals showed a greater pop spike potentiation induced by moderate tetanization of the perforant pathway. The model offers the possibility of differentiating between acute effects of the convulsant drug and kindling-related changes in neuronal plasticity.