We tested the hypothesis that the nuclear proto-oncogene c-fos is involved in long-term potentiation (LTP) of the perforant path-dentate gyrus synapse in awake freely moving rats. High-frequency stimulation that produced LTP induced c-fos mRNA and protein in the dentate granule cells but not in CA1, CA3, or the entorhinal cortex. However, the degree of LTP induction did not correlate with the degree of c-fos induction. Agents that interfered with the production of LTP (e.g. NMDA antagonists) also prevented c-fos induction. Low-frequency stimulation did not lead to either LTP or c-fos induction. However, c-fos induction did not necessarily follow LTP production because some high-frequency stimulation protocols that produced good LTP did not lead to c-fos induction. Thus, c-fos induction is clearly not related to LTP production in unanaesthetized rats, but it remains to be determined if it plays some role in LTP maintenance.