The G-protein coupled receptor, metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5), is expressed on both cell surface and intracellular membranes in striatal neurons. Using pharmacological tools to differentiate membrane responses, we previously demonstrated that cell surface mGluR5 triggers rapid, transient cytoplasmic Ca2+ rises, resulting in c-Jun N-terminal kinase, Ca 2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase, and cyclic adenosine 3′,5′-monophosphate-responsive element-binding protein (CREB) phosphorylation, whereas stimulation of intracellular mGluR5 induces long, sustained Ca2+ responses leading to the phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK1/2) and Elk-1 (Jong, Y. J., Kumar, V., and O'Malley, K. L. (2009) J. Biol. Chem. 284, 35827-35838). Using pharmacological, genetic, and bioinformatics approaches, the current findings show that both receptor populations up-regulate many immediate early genes involved in growth and differentiation. Activation of intracellular mGluR5 also up-regulates genes involved in synaptic plasticity including activity-regulated cytoskeletal- associated protein (Arc/Arg3.1). Mechanistically, intracellular mGluR5-mediated Arc induction is dependent upon extracellular and intracellular Ca2+ and ERK1/2 as well as calmodulin-dependent kinases as known chelators, inhibitors, and a dominant negative Ca2+/calmodulin- dependent protein kinase II construct block Arc increases. Moreover, intracellular mGluR5-induced Arc expression requires the serum response transcription factor (SRF) as wild type but not SRF-deficient neurons show this response. Finally, increased Arc levels due to high K+ depolarization is significantly reduced in response to a permeable but not an impermeable mGluR5 antagonist. Taken together, these data highlight the importance of intracellular mGluR5 in the cascade of events associated with sustained synaptic transmission.