Histidine decarboxylase (HDC) mRNA in various rat tissues were quantitated by using a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in which a mouse mRNA was used as an internal standard. The stomach HDC mRNA level was the highest followed by the brain, skin, jejunum, spleen and liver. There was no measurable HDC mRNA in the kidney. The stomach HDC activity was also the highest followed by the brain, skin, spleen, jejunum, liver and kidney. A significant correlation (r = 0.940, p < 0.0001) was observed between the HDC mRNA levels and HDC activities in these tissues. We have also examined the HDC mRNA levels in fasting rats and found that HDC mRNA levels in the stomach were reduced after the 48-hr-fasting with the decrease in HDC activities. These observations indicate that there may exist a gene regulation, at least at the basal level, for the HDC activities in the rats.