Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) is an important neurotransmitter that modulates N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor activity by binding to several different 5-HT receptor subtypes. In the present study, we used whole-cell patch-clamp recordings in transverse slice preparations to test the role of 5-HT receptors in modulating the NMDA receptor-mediated miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs) in layer II/III pyramidal neurons of the rat visual cortex. We found that the NMDA receptor-mediated component of mEPSCs could be potentiated by exogenously applied 5-HT. Similar results were obtained by exogenously applied 5-CT or 8-OH-DPAT (the 5-HT1A and 5-HT7 receptor agonist). A specific antagonist for the 5-HT7 receptor, SB-269970, completely blocked the increase in NMDA receptor-mediated component of mEPSCs by 5-CT or 8- OH-DPAT. Moreover, the selective 5-HT1A receptor antagonist, WAY-100135, displayed no influence on the enhancement in NMDA receptor-mediated component of mEPSCs by 5-CT or 8-OHDPAT. These results indicated that the increase in NMDA receptor-mediated component of mEPSCs by 5-HT in layer II/III pyramidal neurons of the young rat visual cortex requires activation of 5-HT7 receptors, but not 5-HT1A receptors. These observations might be clinically relevant to schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease (AD), where enhancing NMDA receptor-mediated neurotransmission is considered to be a promising strategy for treatment of these diseases.