The phenomenon of dendritic transport and local translation of mRNA is considered to be one of the most fundamental mechanisms underlying long-term synaptic plasticity. Matrix metalloproteinase 9 (gelatinase B) (MMP-9) is a matrix metalloproteinase implicated in synaptic long-term potentiation and hippocampus-dependent memory. It was recently shown to be prominently up-regulated in the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG) upon kainate-mediated seizures. Here, using a high resolution nonradioactive in situ hybridization at the light- and electron-microscopic levels, as well as subcellular fractionation, we provide evidence that in the rat hippocampus, MMP-9 mRNA is associated with dendrites and dendritic spines bearing asymmetric (excitatory) synapses. Moreover we observe that after kainate treatment the number of dendrites and synapses containing MMP-9 mRNA increases markedly. Our results indicate that we are observing the phenomenon of dendritic transport of seizure-induced MMP-9 mRNA.