The rat olfactory bulb is anatomically immature at birth, and considerable neurogenesis and synaptogenesis are known to take place postnatally. In addition, significant physiological changes have also been reported in this period. For example, granule cell-mediated inhibition following electrical stimulations to the lateral olfactory tract is robust during the first postnatal week, and then decreases abruptly after the second week. However, the mechanism underlying this enhanced inhibition remains to be elucidated. To know the cause of this phenomenon, we investigated the expression patterns of cation-Cl– co-transporters (KCC1, KCC2 and NKCC1) mRNAs, which are responsible for the regulation of [Cl–]i. In addition, responses to γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) were measured by gramicidin-perforated patch-clamp recordings and Ca2+ imaging using fura-2. We found that in the early postnatal period, mitral cells expressing KCC2 mRNA were inhibited by GABA, while granule cells lacking KCC2 mRNA expression were depolarized or excited by GABA. These results indicate that transient GABA-mediated excitation on granule cells might be the main cause of the enhanced inhibition on mitral cells, and suggest that these differential GABA responses between relay and intrinsic neurons play pivotal roles in the early postnatal rat olfactory bulb.