The effects of a novel antagonist of metabotropic glutamate receptors were investigated in CA3 pyramidal cells in hippocampal slice cultures of the rat. Earlier experiments showed that selective activation of metabotropic glutamate receptors with low concentrations of an agonist, 1S, 3R-1-amino-cyclopentane-1,3-dicarboxylic acid (ACPD), induced an inward current associated with a decrease in membrane conductance and inhibition of the slow calcium-dependent potassium current. These responses were strongly and reversibly reduced by the antagonist, (RS)-$\alpha $-methyl-4-carboxyphenylglycine (MCPG, 0.5-1 mM). In the presence of antagonists of ionotropic glutamate receptors, stimulation of the afferent mossy fibres evoked postsynaptic responses in CA3 pyramidal cells which paralleled those observed with exogenously applied metabotropic glutamate receptor agonists, i.e. a slow inward current and a reduction of calcium-dependent potassium current. Both responses were greatly reduced by bath-applied MCPG (1 mM). These results show that MCPG acts as an effective antagonist at metabotropic glutamate receptors coupled to potassium conductances in the hippocampus. Furthermore, they confirm that glutamate release from presynaptic terminals can modulate postsynaptic properties by activation of metabotropic glutamate receptors.