The mechanisms of activity-dependent modulation of burst discharges in rat hippocampal slices have been studied. The extracellular registration of field responses (population spike, PS, and field excitatory postsynaptic potential, fEPSP) induced by repetitive electrical stimulation (1–4 Hz) of Schaffer collaterals (with 30 pulses trains separated by 5-min resting intervals) was performed in cellular and dendritic layers of CA1 area. It has been established that repetitive orthodromic stimulation exerts biphasic modulation of burst discharges in Mg2+-free medium: use-dependent potentiation (UDP) and use-dependent inhibition (UDI). The former was manifested as an increase in the number of PS in the burst discharge associated with a corresponding lengthening of the fEPSP. During the UDI development the number of NMDA-dependent PS in the burst was diminished despite the continuing increase in the fEPSP duration. In some cases UDI was followed by spreading depression. Both UDP and UDI were reversible. The development of UDP and UDI could be effectively suppressed either by the NMDA antagonists or by the GABAergic inhibition enhancer, diazepam. The picrotoxin (PTX)-induced burst discharges did not undergo either UDP or UDI development. However, removal of Mg2+ from PTX-containing solution during continuing repetitive stimulation led to the appearance of NMDA-dependent UDI. Analysis of the data obtained indicates that: (1) UDP results from a progressive decrease in GABA-mediated inhibition in the course of low-frequency (1–4 Hz) repetitive stimulation (the so-called “fatigue of synaptic inhibition”); (2) UDI is caused by excessive Ca2+ influx into the neurons due to overactivation of NMDA receptors.