Metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) are involved in many forms of neuronal plasticity. In the hippocampus, they have well-defined roles in long-lasting forms of both synaptic and intrinsic plasticity. Here, we describe a novel form of long-lasting intrinsic plasticity that we call (S)-3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine (DHPG)-mediated long-term depression of excitability (DHPG-LDE), and which is generated following transient pharmacological activation of group I mGluRs. In extracellular recordings from hippocampal slices, DHPG-LDE was expressed as a long-lasting depression of antidromic compound action potentials (cAPs) in CA1 or CA3 cells following a 4-min exposure to the group I mGluR agonist (S)-DHPG. A similar phenomenon was also seen for orthodromic fibre volleys evoked in CA3 axons. In single-cell recordings from CA1 pyramids, DHPG-LDE was manifest as persistent failures in antidromic action potential generation. DHPG-LDE was blocked by (S)-(+)-a-amino-4-carboxy-2-methylbenzeneacetic acid (LY367385), an antagonist of mGluR1, but not 2-methyl-6-(phenylethynyl)pyridine hydrochloride (MPEP), an mGluR5 inhibitor. Although insensitive to antagonists of α-amino-3-hydroxyl-5-methyl-4-isoxazole-propionate/kainate and γ-aminobutyric acidA receptors, DHPG-LDE was blocked by antagonists of N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors. Similarly, in single-cell recordings, DHPG-mediated antidromic spike failures were eliminated by NMDA receptor antagonism. Long after (S)-DHPG washout, DHPG-LDE was reversed by mGluR1 antagonism. A 4-min application of (S)-DHPG also produced an NMDA receptor-dependent persistent depolarization of CA1 pyramidal cells. This depolarization was not solely responsible for DHPG-LDE, because a similar level of depolarization elicited by raising extracellular K+ increased the amplitude of the cAP. DHPG-LDE did not involve HCN channels or protein synthesis, but was eliminated by blockers of protein kinase C or tyrosine phosphatases.