Protein synthesis in neurons is essential for the consolidation of memory and for the stabilization of activity-dependent forms of synaptic plasticity such as long-term potentiation (LTP). Activity-dependent translation of dendritically localized mRNAs has been proposed to be a critical source of new proteins necessary for synaptic change. mRNA for the activity-regulated cytoskeletal protein, Arc, is transcribed during LTP and learning, and disruption of its translation gives rise to deficits in both. We have found that selective translation of Arc in a synaptoneurosomal preparation is induced by the brain-derived neurotrophic factor, a neurotrophin that is released during high-frequency stimulation patterns used to elicit LTP. This effect involves signaling through the TrkB receptor and is blocked by the N-methyl-d-aspartate-type glutamate receptor antagonist, MK801. The results suggest there is a synergy between neurotrophic and ionotropic mechanisms that may influence the specificity and duration of changes in synaptic efficacy at glutamatergic synapses.