Histamine is an intriguing compound; the same is true for the several classes of anti-histaminergic compounds. The classical anti-histamines, w kwn as H -antagonists have 1 been the result of intensive research in the 1950s and 1960s. The new, so-called n-sedating H1-antagonists, which became available in the 1980s, could be d'eveloped mainly due to insights into structural features causing the sedating effects of the older compounds. In the 1970s the H2-receptors became important targets for developing new anti-ulcer agents. The H2-antagonist story is a stimulating example of modern research on pharmacology and medicinal chemistry. Unkwn and new properties of histamine and histaminergic systems came to the attention of the pharmacologists and medicinal chemists in the 1980s. The role of histamine as a neurotransmitter, the existence of a presynaptic receptor (H ) controlling the release of histamine 3 and other neurotransmitters, and the particular character of this receptor became important as the possibilities to design new therapeutic agents were realized. Recently, other roles of the histaminergic systems have been suggested. Is there a distinct histamine receptor involved in immulogical features of histamine? Is histamine involved in the prolactin axis? Are histamine receptors intracellularly present in certain cells and what is their possible role? For these reasons it was the right time to discuss New Perspectives in Histamine Research during a scientific meeting. Therefore a symposium was organized as a satellite of the XIth International Congress of Pharmacology of IUPHAR in Amsterdam in 1990.