The effect of insulin on intestinal sodium-dependent glucose transport and brush border membrane surface area was examined in male Sprague-Dawley rats following a 30-day period of nontreated streptozocin-induced diabetes. Nontreated diabetic rats were hyperglycemic and demonstrated increased jejunal and ileal Na-dependent glucose transport Jmax (maximal transport capacity) and Na-K ATPase activity compared with controls. Daily administration of insulin resulted in a steady decline in blood glucose levels over a period of 6 days. Jejunal Jmax was normalized after 2 days of insulin therapy, while ileal Jmax was normalized 12 h following a single insulin injection. The normalization of Na-K ATPase activity lagged behind Na-dependent glucose transport regulation by 24 h in both jejunum and ileum. Brush border surface area was increased in the ileum of diabetic rats as a result of an increase in microvillus height. Insulin treatment resulted in a decrease in ileal microvillus height to control values by 12 h, which correlated directly with the decrease in Na-dependent glucose transport. Insulin had no effect on jejunal brush border surface area. In conclusion, these findings indicate that the jejunum and ileum respond differentially to experimentally induced diabetes, and these regions also utilize different adaptive mechanisms to regulate Na-dependent glucose transport.