Changes in neuronal activity often trigger compensatory mechanisms aimed at regulating network activity homeostatically. Here we have identified and characterized a novel form of compensatory short-term plasticity of membrane excitability, which develops early after the eye-opening period in rats (P16-19 days) but not before that developmental stage (P9-12 days old). Holding the membrane potential of CA1 neurons right below the firing threshold from 15 s to several minutes induced a potentiation of the repolarizing phase of the action potentials that contributed to a decrease in the firing rate of CA1 pyramidal neurons in vitro. Furthermore, the mechanism for inducing this plasticity required the action of intracellular Ca(2+) entering through T-type Ca(2+) channels. This increase in Ca(2+) subsequently activated the Ca(2+) sensor K(+) channel interacting protein 3, which led to the increase of an A-type K(+) current. These results suggest that Ca(2+) modulation of somatic A-current represents a new form of homeostatic regulation that provides CA1 pyramidal neurons with the ability to preserve their firing abilities in response to membrane potential variations on a scale from tens of seconds to several minutes.