The effect of thioperamide, a histamine H3 receptor antagonist, on learning and memory was studied in the senescence-accelerated mice-prone strain (SAM-P/8) and normal-rate aging strain (SAM-R/1). In a passive avoidance test, SAM-P/8 mice of 12 months showed significant impairment of learning and memory compared with SAM-R/1 mice of the same age. Thioperamide significantly improved the response latency in SAM-P/8 mice when injected intraperitoneally at a dose of 15 mg/kg. The histidine decarboxylase (HDC) activity in the forebrain was significantly lower in SAM-P/8 mice than in SAM-R/1 mice. Thioperamide administration significantly potentiated HDC activity in the forebrain of SAM-P/8 mice as well as improving learning and memory. These results suggest that central histaminergic neurons may be involved in learning and memory impairment of SAM-P/8 mice, although other possibilities are not ruled out.