Despite the well documented role of the hippocampus in various modes of drug reinstatement behavior, the persisting effects of in vivo cocaine exposure on hippocampal synaptic plasticity are not sufficiently understood. In this report we investigated the effects of cocaine conditioning on long-term potentiation (LTP) in the CA1 region of hippocampus along its septotemporal axis. Male Sprague-Dawley rats experienced a behavioral protocol, in which locomotor activity was monitored in response to various conditioning treatments. LTP was measured in ex vivo slice preparations taken 1–2 weeks after the last behavioral session from the ventral (vH) and dorsal (dH) sectors of hippocampus. Unexpectedly, experiencing the minor intermittent stimuli of the behavioral protocol caused stress-induced metaplastic changes in both vH (increased LTP) and dH (decreased LTP) in the saline conditioned rats relative to behaviorally naïve controls. These stress effects in the vH and dH were blocked by conditioning with either mineralocorticoid (spironolactone) or glucocorticoid (mifepristone) antagonists, respectively. Stress-induced metaplasticity in the vH was also prevented by prior administration of the kappa opioid antagonist nor-binaltorphimine. Cocaine conditioning induced locomotor sensitization and significantly increased LTP in the vH without causing significant change in LTP in the dH. Cocaine-induced metaplasticity in the vH was prevented by co-administration of the dopamine D2-like antagonist eticlopride during cocaine conditioning, but not by co-administration of the D1/5 antagonist SCH 23390. Our results suggest that the functional connectivity of hippocampus is altered by metaplastic triggers such as exposure to drugs of abuse and/or stressors, thereby shifting the efferent output of hippocampus from dH (cortical) toward vH (limbic) influenced circuits. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.