Recent data have suggested the involvement of neurotrophins in the cascade of events occurring during seizure development. In particular, expression of both brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its receptor mRNAs increases in different brain structures after convulsive seizures. The physiological significance of this increase was investigated by chronic intrahippocampal perfusion of BDNF in the model of dorsal hippocampal kindling in the rat. A 7 day perfusion of BDNF, in the region of the stimulating electrode, blocked the development of kindling during the perfusion period and for the following 15 days. These results provide in vivo evidence for a protective role of BDNF in the regulation of plasticity involved in epileptogenesis in adult brain.