In the normal granule cells of the dentate gyrus, glutamate and both gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) coexist. GAD expression is increased after seizures, and simultaneous glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission from the mossy fibers to CA3 appears, supporting the hypothesis that GABA can be released from the mossy fibers. To sustain GABAergic neurotransmission, the amino acid must be transported into synaptic vesicles. To address this, using RT-PCR we looked for the presence and regulation of expression of the vesicular GABA transporter (VGAT) mRNA in the dentate gyrus and in mossy fiber synaptosomes of control and kindled rats. We found trace amounts of VGAT mRNA in the dentate gyrus and mossy fiber synaptosomes of control rats. In the dentate gyrus of kindled rats with several seizures and of control rats subject to one acute seizure, no changes were apparent either 1 or 24 h after the seizures. However, repetitive synaptic or antidromic activation of the granule cells in slices of control rats in vitro induces an activity-dependent enhancement of VGAT mRNA expression in the dentate. Surprisingly, in the mossy fiber synaptosomes of seizing rats, the levels of VGAT mRNA were significantly higher than in controls. These data show that the granule cells and their mossy fibers, besides containing machinery for the synthesis of GABA, also contain the elements that support its vesiculation. This further supports the notion that local synaptic molecular changes enable mossy fibers to release GABA in response to enhanced excitability.