Hypothalamic neuronal histamine and its H(1) receptor (H(1)-R), a leptin signaling pathway in the brain, regulate body weight and adiposity by affecting food intake and energy expenditure. Glucagon-like peptide-1 and/or corticotrophin-releasing hormone mediate leptin signaling to neuronal histamine. Leptin-induced suppression of food intake and upregulation of uncoupling protein-1 expression in brown adipose tissue were partially attenuated in histamine H(1)-R knockout (H(1)KO) mice. H(1)KO mice developed maturity-onset obesity. Hyperphagia and decreased energy expenditure assessed by the expression of uncoupling protein-1 mRNA were observed in older (48-wk-old) obese H(1)KO mice but not in younger (12-wk-old) non-obese H(1)KO mice. However, the diurnal feeding rhythm was impaired even in younger non-obese animals. Specifically, disruption of the feeding rhythm developed before the onset of obesity in H(1)KO mice. Correction of these abnormal feeding rhythms with scheduled feeding improved the obesity and associated metabolic disorders in the H(1)KO mice. These findings suggest that histamine H(1)-R is crucial for regulating the feeding rhythm and in mediating the effects of leptin. Early disruption of H(1)-R-mediated functions in H(1)KO mice may lead to hyperphagia and decreased energy expenditure, which may contribute to the development of obesity in these animals.