Activation of group 1 metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) has been shown to facilitate the induction of tetanically evoked long-term potentiation in vivo, whereas group 2 mGluR antagonists inhibit long-term depression (LTD) in the CA1 region. LTD has not been successfully demonstrated to date in the dentate gyrus of freely moving rats. In this study, it was found that 1-Hz low-frequency stimulation (LFS) when applied via a stimulating electrode chronically implanted in the perforant path, evoked short-term depression (STD) of field excitatory post-synaptic potentials and population spikes measured from the dentate gyrus granule cell layer. Application of the group 2 mGluR agonists (S)-4-carboxyphenylglycine (4C3HPG) or (2S,2'R,3'R)-2-(2',3'-dicarboxycyclopropyl)glycine (DCG-IV) prior to LFS facilitated the expression of LTD. Application of the group 2 mGluR antagonist (2S)-alpha-ethylglutamic acid (EGLU) prior to agonist application prevented the facilitating effect of the agonists on LFS-induced depression. EGLU did not influence the expression of LFS-induced STD. Neither 4C3HPG, DCG-IV nor EGLU had an effect on basal synaptic transmission at the concentrations used. The present study demonstrates that priming of group 2 mGluRs leads to induction of persistent LTD in the dentate gyrus in vivo, consistent with a role for group 2 mGluRs in metaplasticity.