The cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) is an evolutionarily conserved transcription regulator essential for long-term memory formation. It is not known, however, whether the molecular events downstream of CREB activation are also conserved. An early, cAMP-dependent event necessary for learning-related long-term synaptic plasticity in the invertebrate Aplysia californica is the induction of the transcription factor CCAAT enhancer-binding protein (C/EBP). Here we show that two homologs in the rat, C/EBPbeta and C/EBPdelta, are induced at discrete times after inhibitory avoidance learning and co-localize with phosphorylated CREB in the hippocampus. This induction is blocked by fornix lesions, which are known to disrupt activation of CREB in the hippocampus and to impair memory consolidation. These results indicate that C/EBPs are evolutionarily conserved components of the CREB-dependent gene cascade activated in long-term memory.