Hippocampal protein synthesis is dependent upon a number of different molecular and cellular mechanisms that act together to make previously labile memories more stable and resistant to disruption. Both brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and extracellular signal-Regulated kinase (ERK) are known to play an important role in protein synthesis-dependent memory consolidation, via the mitogen-activated protein-kinase (MAP-K) signaling pathway during the transcription phase of protein synthesis. The current study investigates the influence of protein synthesis inhibition (PSI) by cycloheximide on spatial learning and memory. In an initial experiment, the authors utilized two doses of cycloheximide (0.5 mg/kg and 1.0 mg/kg, intraperitoneally) to determine the dose at which long-term (>24 hours) memories are impaired. A second experiment was designed to investigate the effect of PSI on the formation of cue-platform associations in the watermaze, and on BDNF and ERK expression in the hippocampus. At the higher dose (1.0 mgikg) cycloheximide resulted in impaired retention of the water maze. BDNF and ERK expression was also down-regulated in animals injected with this dose of cycloheximide. Our results demonstrate a role of protein synthesis in spatial memory retention, along with a possible relationship between protein synthesis and hippocampal BDNF/ERK expression.