Gamma-Hydroxybutyrate (GHB) has been shown to mimic different central actions of ethanol, to suppress alcohol withdrawal syndrome, and to reduce alcohol consumption both in rats and in humans. The aim of the present study was to determine if GHB shared with alcohol the ability to inhibit glutamate action at both NMDA and AMPA/kainate receptors. The NMDA or the AMPA/kainate receptors-mediated postsynaptic potentials were evoked in CA1 pyramidal neurons by stimulation of Schaffer-collateral commissural fibers in the presence of CGP 35348, bicuculline to block the GABA(B) and GABA(A) receptors, and 10 microM 6,7-dinitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione (DNQX) or 30 microM DL-2-amino-5-phosphonovalerate (d-APV) to block AMPA/kainate or NMDA receptors, respectively. GHB (600 microM) produced a depression of both NMDA and AMPA/kainate receptors-mediated excitatory postsynaptic potentials with recovery on washout. The GHB receptors antagonist, NCS-382, at the concentration of 500 microM had no effect per se on these responses but prevented the depressant effect of GHB (600 microM) on the NMDA and AMPA/kainate-mediated responses. In the paired-pulse experiments, GHB (600 microM) depressed the amplitude of the first and the second evoked AMPA/kainate excitatory postsynaptic potentials, and significantly increased the paired-pulse facilitation (PPF). These results suggest that GHB inhibits excitatory synaptic transmission at Schaffer-collateral commissural-pyramidal neurons synapses by decreasing the probability of release of glutamate.