Background: The selective absorption of nutrients and other food constituents in the small intestine is mediated by a group of transport proteins and metabolic enzymes, often collectively called ‘intestinal barrier proteins’. An important receptor that mediates the effects of dietary lipids on gene expression is the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARα), which is abundantly expressed in enterocytes. In this study we examined the effects of acute nutritional activation of PPARα on expression of genes encoding intestinal barrier proteins. To this end we used triacylglycerols composed of identical fatty acids in combination with gene expression profiling in wild-type and PPARα-null mice. Treatment with the synthetic PPARα agonist WY14643 served as reference.