Massive small intestinal resection results in both structural and functional changes in the residual small bowel. Sodium-dependent D-glucose transport was examined in brush-border membrane vesicles derived from the terminal 20-30 cm of ileal mucosa of male Sprague-Dawley rats, 2 and 6 wk after 66% proximal jejunoileal resection or jejunoileal transection. Kinetic characteristics for sodium-dependent D-glucose transport were investigated with rapid filtration under conditions of a zero-trans, 100 mM cis-NaSCN gradient. Mucosal weight, protein, and DNA content were increased in the residual terminal intestinal segment compared with transected controls, whereas morphometric studies revealed increased villus and crypt heights as well as an increased mitotic index. Mean kinetic transport parameters at 6 wk after proximal small bowel resection revealed two saturable systems in the distal residual ileum: first, a low-affinity, high-capacity system with a Km of 0.19 +/- 0.03 mM and a Vmax of 0.48 +/- 0.04 nmol.mg protein-1.min-1; and second, a high-affinity, low-capacity system with a Km of 0.009 +/- 0.001 mM and a Vmax of 0.105 +/- 0.016 nmol.mg protein-1.min-1. In contrast, negligible sodium-dependent D-glucose transport was detected in the most distal ileum in control animals or animals 2 wk after resection or 2 and 6 wk after transection. Thus adaptational changes including mucosal hyperplasia and the appearance of two sodium-dependent D-glucose brush-border membrane vesicle transport systems occur in the residual distal intestine after massive proximal small bowel resection.