The effects of chronic and acute corticosterone (CORT) administration were investigated on hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP) in the dentate gyrus granule cell layer of the rat. Electrophysiological experiments were performed in vivo under urethane anesthesia. Chronic CORT treatment (40 mg/kg/day) over 21 days decreased LTP compared to vehicle controls, even when LTP was measured 48 hours after cessation of CORT treatment, when serum CORT levels had returned to baseline. A single injection of CORT also decreased LTP compared to vehicle controls, but only when CORT levels were high, since at 48 hours after a single acute CORT injection LTP was not depressed. The decrements in LTP were seen both for the slope of the excitatory postsynaptic potential and for the population spike. Yet CORT had no effects on posttetanic potentiation or neuronal excitability. These findings are consistent with previous reports showing a reduction in LTP in the CA1 field of animals exposed to stress or acute CORT administration.