This study was undertaken to reveal the cellular stores of histamine in developing rat brain and to determine the stage of development during which the histamine-immunoreactive neurons can first be detected. Rats from embryonal day 12 to postnatal day 14 were studied. The brains were fixed in 4% 1-ethyl-3(3-dimethylaminopropyl)carbodiimide and standard immunofluorescence technique was used. The first histamine-immunoreactive neurons were seen on embryonic day 13 in the border of mesencephalon and metencephalon. On embryonic day 15 immunoreactive neurons were detected in ventral mesencephalon and rhombencephalon. In caudal, tuberal, and postmammillary caudal magnocellular nuclei histamine-immunoreactive neurons were first detected on embryonic day 20 while those in the hindbrain had disappeared. Histamine-immunoreactive nerve fibers were first detected on embryonic day 15 in rhombencephalon and mesencephalon and in some areas of diencephalon including the mammillary bodies and frontal cortex. On embryonic day 18 the number of immunoreactive nerve fibers in the hindbrain had decreased considerably, but the olfactory bulb, septal and hypothalamic area, and the cerebral cortex showed immunoreaction in fibers. The density of histamine-immunoreactive fiber networks increased until postnatal day 14 when an adultlike pattern of neurons and fibers had developed. Histamine-immunoreactive neurons are present in embryonal CNS and they develop extensive projections to various brain areas.