1. The effect of the selective histamine H3-receptor agonist R-(alpha)-methylhistamine has been investigated on the contractile responses of the longitudinal smooth muscle of guinea-pig ileum elicited by electrical field stimulation of acetylcholine release from myenteric nerve endings. 2. R-(alpha)-methylhistamine produced a concentration-dependent (EC50 = 1.4 +/- 0.2 x 10(-8) M) inhibition of the response to electrical field stimulation which was insensitive to inhibition by mepyramine (1 microM) and tiotidine (2.4 microM). 3. This response to R-(alpha)-methylhistamine could be inhibited in a competitive fashion by a range of H3-receptor antagonists including thioperamide (KB = 1.1 nM), impromidine (KB = 65 nM), norburimamide (KB = 380 nM) and SKF 91486 (KB = 34 nM). Burimamide was also a potent inhibitor of this response but the Schild slope obtained (1.3) was significantly greater than unity. 4. The estimated KB values were all within a factor of three of those values reported for the histamine H3-receptor mediating inhibition of histamine release in rat cerebral cortex. 5. These data suggest that the histamine receptor mediating inhibition of cholinergic neurotransmission by R-(alpha)-methylhistamine in guinea-pig ileum is the same as the H3-receptor present in rat cerebral cortex.