The synthesis and biological evaluation of new histamine H3 receptor antagonists with an iodinated aryl partial structure are described as part of an extensive research program to find model compounds for the development of a new radioligand with high H3 receptor affinity and specific activity. All compounds were tested for their H3 receptor antagonist activity in a [3H]-histamine-release assay with synaptosomes from rat cerebral cortex. The new leads with potent H3 receptor antagonist activity belong to a series of derivatives of 3-(1H-imidazol-4-yl)propanol with carbamate (4-7), ester (8-16), and ether (17-22) as functional groups. Structure-activity relationships are discussed. The most active compound in the functional test (-log Ki = 8.3) and in binding studies with [3H]-(R)-alpha-methylhistamine on rat cerebral cortex (-log Ki = 9.0) in vitro was 3-(1H-imidazol-4-yl)propyl (4-iodophenyl)methyl ether (iodoproxyfan, 19) exhibiting no central H3 receptor antagonist activity in vivo. The potency of iodoproxyfan is more than 300 times lower at H1, H2, alpha1, alpha2, beta1, 5-HT2A, 5-HT3, and M3 receptors than at histamine H3 receptors. Because of the high potency and selectivity of 19, this compound has also been prepared in the [125I]-iodinated form by a nucleophilic halogen exchange reaction using the corresponding bromo derivative 22 as a precursor. The newly prepared [125I]iodoproxyfan (23) possesses advantageous pharmacological properties and fulfills all criteria of a useful radioligand.