Systemic administration of pilocarpine preceded by lithium induces status epilepticus (SE) that results in neurodegeneration and may lead to the development of spontaneous recurrent seizures. We investigated the effect of Li/pilocarpine-induced SE on phosphorylation of the NMDA receptor in rat hippocampus. Phosphorylation of NR1 by PKC on Ser890 was decreased to 45% of control values immediately following 1 h of SE. During the first 3 h following the termination of SE, phosphorylation of Ser890 increased 4-fold before declining to control values by 24 h. Phosphorylation of NR1 by PKA was also depressed relative to controls immediately following SE and transiently increased above control values upon the termination of SE. SE was accompanied by a general increase in tyrosine phosphorylation of hippocampal proteins that lasted for several hours following the termination of seizures. Tyrosine phosphorylation of the NR2A and NR2B subunits of the NMDAR increased 3-4-fold over control values during SE, continued to increase during the first hour following SE and then declined to control levels by 24 h. SE resulted in the activation of Src and Pyk2 associated with the postsynaptic apparatus, suggesting a role for these enzymes in the SE-induced increase in tyrosine phosphorylation. Changes in phosphorylation of the NMDA receptor may play a role in the pathophysiological consequences of SE.