Two types of histamine receptor, the H1- and H2-receptors, are found not only on vascular smooth muscle cells but on the perivascular autonomic nerve terminals. Activation of the prejunctional histamine receptors modifies transmitter release from the nerve terminals. Recently, histamine was shown to inhibit its own release from depolarized slices of rat cerebral cortex. This phenomenon was found to be mediated by a novel class of histamine receptor, the H3-receptor, that was pharmacologically distinct from the H1- and H2-receptors. Up to now, there has been no indication whether this third class of histamine receptor is present in any tissue other than the brain. We report here that histamine depresses sympathetic neurotransmission in the guinea-pig mesenteric artery by interacting with histamine H3-receptors on the perivascular nerve terminals. The pharmacological properties of these receptors are similar to those reported for the H3-receptors in the brain. Our data provide evidence for the existence of H3-receptors in the autonomic nervous system.