The presence of specific mRNAs in dendrites and at synapses is well established, but a direct and reliable demonstration that they are associated with polysomes is still missing. To address this point we analyzed the polysomal association of the mRNAs for the alpha-subunit of Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (alpha-CaMKII), for type 1 inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor (InsP3R1) and for the activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein (Arc) in a synaptosomal preparation devoid of contaminating material from neuronal and glial perikarya. We show that a fraction of alpha-CaMKII, InsP3R1, and Arc mRNAs present in synaptosomes is indeed associated with polysomes. Moreover, we show that polysomal association of alpha-CaMKII mRNA, but not InsP3R1 and Arc mRNAs, increases with depolarization of the synaptosomal membrane. Finally, we show that the synthesis of alpha-CaMKII protein increases with stimulation. Dendritic mRNA recruitment onto polysomes in response to synaptic stimulation might represent one of the mechanisms underlying the processes of learning and memory.