The potential for itch production in human skin of the synthetic analogues of histamine, 2-methyl histamine (an H1-receptor agonist) and 4-methyl histamine and dimaprit (H2-receptor agonists) has been studied in vivo and compared with histamine. Itch thresholds for 2-methyl histamine were consistently much higher than for histamine (P < 0.001). The H1-receptor antagonist chlorpheniramine raised the itch thresholds to 2-methyl histamine and histamine significantly (P < 0.001). Pruritus was not obtained with either 4-methyl histamine or dimaprit. No evidence of synergism between 2-methyl histamine and either 4-methyl histamine or dimaprit was found. The results suggest that histamine-induced pruritus is mediated in part through the H1-receptor and in part via an additional (but probably non-H2) mechanism.