The guinea pig is the prototypic animal species for the histamine H2 receptor. Using a strategy based upon nucleotide sequence homology and starting from the sequence of the rat histamine H2 receptor (Ruat et al., Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 1991, 179: 1470-78), we have cloned an intronless highly homologous DNA very likely encoding the guinea pig H2 receptor. The encoded 359 amino acid protein displays 83 to 86% identity with the rat-, human- or dog-H2 receptors. Northern blot analysis identified a single transcript of 4.6 kb in peripheral tissues and brain areas in which the presence of the H2 receptor had been revealed previously by either photoaffinity labeling or binding studies. In brain, the distribution of transcripts, established by either Northern blots or in situ hybridization studies, was consistent with the localization of the H2-receptor. In addition, using Southern analysis of a chromosome mapping panel constructed from human x hamster hybridomas, we assigned the H2 receptor gene to human chromosome 5.