We studied the effects of histamine on perfused rabbit middle cerebral arteries in vitro. Intact and endothelium-denuded preparations were compared. Histamine caused concentration-dependent constrictions in intact vessels which were competitively inhibited by an H<sub>1</sub> receptor antagonist. This constriction was potentiated by either H<sub>2</sub>-receptor blockade or endothelium denudation. The greatest potentiation was observed with intraluminal as opposed to extraluminal administration. The H<sub>1</sub> receptor agonist pyridylethylamine induced similar concentration-dependent constriction in intact and denuded preparations. After pre-constriction, histamine, in the presence of an H<sub>1</sub> receptor antagonist, dilated intact vessels to a maximum of 45.1 %, and endothelium-denuded vessels to a maximum of 22% (p < 0.02). We conclude that rabbit middle cerebral arteries possess H<sub>1</sub> constrictory and H<sub>2</sub> dilatory receptors, and that many of the H<sub>2</sub> dilatory receptors are situated on the endothelial cells.