The propagation and integration of signals in the dendrites of pyramidal neurons is regulated, in part, by the distribution and biophysical properties of voltage-gated ion channels. It is thus possible that any modification of these channels in a specific part of the dendritic tree might locally alter these signaling processes. Using dendritic and somatic whole-cell recordings, combined with calcium imaging in rat hippocampal slices, we found that the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) was accompanied by a local increase in dendritic excitability that was dependent on the activation of NMDA receptors. These changes favored the back-propagation of action potentials into this dendritic region with a subsequent boost in the Ca(2+) influx. Dendritic cell-attached patch recordings revealed a hyperpolarized shift in the inactivation curve of transient, A-type K(+) currents that can account for the enhanced excitability. These results suggest an important mechanism associated with LTP for shaping signal processing and controlling dendritic function.