A group of neurons with the characteristics of dentate gyrus granule cells was found at the hilar/CA3 border several weeks after pilocarpine- or kainic acid-induced status epilepticus. Intracellular recordings from pilocarpine-treated rats showed that these "granule-like" neurons were similar to normal granule cells (i. e., those in the granule cell layer) in membrane properties, firing behavior, morphology, and their mossy fiber axon. However, in contrast to normal granule cells, they were synchronized with spontaneous, rhythmic bursts of area CA3 pyramidal cells that survived status epilepticus. Saline-treated controls lacked the population of granule-like cells at the hilar/CA3 border and CA3 bursts. In rats that were injected after status epilepticus with bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) to label newly born cells, and also labeled for calbindin D(28K) (because it normally stains granule cells), many double-labeled neurons were located at the hilar/CA3 border. Many BrdU-labeled cells at the hilar/CA3 border also were double-labeled with a neuronal marker (NeuN). Taken together with the recent evidence that granule cells that are born after seizures can migrate into the hilus, the results suggest that some newly born granule cells migrate as far as the CA3 cell layer, where they become integrated abnormally into the CA3 network, yet they retain granule cell intrinsic properties. The results provide insight into the physiological properties of newly born granule cells in the adult brain and suggest that relatively rigid developmental programs set the membrane properties of newly born cells, but substantial plasticity is present to influence their place in pre-existing circuitry.