Excitotoxicity is a process in which glutamate or other excitatory amino acids induce neuronal cell death. To address whether and how c-fos is involved in neuronal excitotoxicity, we previously generated mice in which the c-fos expression is eliminated specifically in the hippocampus. We found that these mutant mice exhibit increased kainic acid (KA)-induced seizure severity, increased neuronal excitability as measured by electroencephalogram, and increased neuronal cell death compared to wild-type control mice. To further assess the role of c-fos in regulating neuronal excitability at a cellular level, we performed hippocampal slice recording in the current study. We found that c-fos-deficient CA3 pyramidal neurons exhibit both enhanced basal and KA-induced excitability compared to normal control neurons. Our results suggest that c-fos regulates CA3 neuronal excitability. © 2002 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.