[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To explore the mechanism underlying the development of learning deficits in patients with epilepsy, we generated a mouse model for temporal lobe epilepsy by intraperitoneally injecting mice with pilocarpine with lithium chloride, and investigated time-dependent changes in both contextual fear memory of those model mice and long-term potentiation (LTP) in hippocampal CA1 neurons 1 day, 2 weeks, and 6 weeks after the onset of status epilepticus (SE). Fear memory formation did not change 1 day and 2 weeks after the onset of SE, but was significantly reduced after 6 weeks. Induction of LTP was enhanced 1 day after the onset of SE, but returned to the normal level 2 weeks later, and was almost completely attenuated after 6 weeks. The enhancement of LTP was accompanied by an increase in output responses of excitatory postsynaptic potentials, whereas suppression of LTP was accompanied by alteration of the ratio of paired pulse facilitation. These results indicate that time-dependent changes of LTP induction have a causal role in the development of learning deficits of epilepsy patients.