Long-term potentiation (LTP) of synaptic transmission is under intense investigation. It is believed that the mechanisms involved in its induction and expression are critically involved in synaptic processes that are important for learning and memory and other physiological functions. A reliable means of inducing LTP in dissociated cultured neurones would facilitate investigations into the molecular basis of LTP but has been hard to achieve. Here we report a mechanism for inducing LTP in postnatal dissociated hippocampal neurones using transient depolarisation. This form of LTP is prevented by NMDA receptor antagonists and by chelating Ca2+ in the postsynaptic neurone. It is manifest primarily as an increase in the frequency of mEPSCs.