CA3 pyramidal cells receive three main excitatory inputs: the first one is the mossy fiber input, synapsing mainly on the proximal apical dendrites. Second, entorhinal cortex cells form excitatory connections with CA3 pyramidal cells via the perforant path in the stratum lacunosum moleculare. The third input involves the ipsi-and contralateral connections, termed the associational/commissural (A/C) pathway terminating in the stratum radiatum of CA3, thus forming a feedback loop within this region. Since this excitatory recurrent synapse makes the CA3 region extremely prone to seizure development, understanding the regulation of synaptic strength of this connection is of crucial interest. Several studies suggest that kainate receptors (KAR) play a role in the regulation of synaptic strength. Our aim was to characterize the influence of KAR on A/C synaptic transmission: application of ATPA, a selective agonist of the GluK1 KAR, depressed the amplitude fEPSP without affecting the size of the fiber volley. Blockade of GABA receptors had no influence on this effect, arguing against the influence of interneuronal KARs. Pharmacological and genetic deletion studies could show that this effect was selectively due to GluK1 receptor activation. Several lines of evidence, such as PPF changes, coefficient of variance–analysis and glutamate uncaging experiments strongly argue for a presynaptic locus of suppression. This is accompanied by an ATPA-mediated reduction in Ca2+ influx at excitatory synaptic terminals, which is most likely mediated by a G-Protein dependent mechanism, as suggested by application of pertussis toxin. Finally, analysis of miniature EPSCs in the presence and absence of extracellular Ca2+ suggest that presynaptic KAR can also reduce transmitter release downstream and therefore independent of Ca2+ influx. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc., Inc.