Following LTP induction in freely moving rats, in situ hybridization revealed discrete changes in the expression of one isoform in each of four families of serine/threonine kinases constitutively expressed in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus. Expression of the alpha isoform of CaMKII showed a transient increase over the soma and a more persistent increase over the dendritic field of dentate granule cells. Of the PKC isoforms, only gamma PKC was up-regulated substantially 2 hr after LTP induction, declining to control levels 48 hr later. An increase in the expression of mRNA for ERK2 and raf-B was seen at 24 hr only. These results show that, during the maintenance phase of LTP in the hippocampus, there are selective increases in the expression of serine/threonine kinases and that these increases have specific and characteristic temporal and spatial profiles.