Brain histamine plays a regulatory role in feeding behaviour, acting as an inhibitory modulator. Portocaval anastomosis (PCA) is associated with cerebral aminergic systems alterations, including high histamine accumulation and release from neurons. Despite that, the rats with PCA eat significantly more, their body mass being lower than sham-operated animals. To disclose underlying regulatory mechanisms, food intake was measured before and after treatment with antagonists of histamine H(1) and H(2), orexin type 1 (OX(1)) and cannabinoid type 1 (CB(1)) receptors in adult male Lewis rats 6 months following the end-to-side PCA or sham operation. Hypothalamic concentrations of orexin A and histamine as well as serum concentrations of leptin, insulin and cholecystokinin (CCK) were analysed. PCA rats with body mass lower by 30%, have consumed more feed and water 150% and 200%, respectively. The modifying effects of pyrilamine, ranitidine, SB 334867 and rimonabant were less pronounced in PCA compared with sham-operated rats. Hypothalamic orexin A and histamine concentrations were higher in PCA rats than in the control group with intact portocaval system. In PCA rats, serum concentrations of CCK were higher, leptin concentrations lower, while there were no differences between the groups in insulin levels. In conclusion, the adaptive mechanisms efficiently render PCA rats less sensitive to peripheral and central anorexigenic signals. Orexin A appears to be involved in the counteracting mechanisms preventing further body mass loss in PCA rats.