Ileal reclamation of bile salts is mediated in large part by an apical sodium-dependent bile acid transporter (ASBT) located in the terminal ileum. The following studies were performed to elucidate the adaptive response of ASBT to intestinal resection. Two separate series of intestinal resections were performed: 1) limited (25%) ileal and 2) massive (70%) intestinal resection. The boundaries of the resections were varied to examine differences in compensation when variable amounts of endogenous transporter activity were resected. Previously demonstrated supraphysiologic expression of ASBT, which was seen after proximal ileal resection, led to a contraction in the bile acid pool size and a paradoxical reduction in bile acid (cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase and sterol 27-hydroxylase) and cholesterol (hydroxymethylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase) biosynthetic enzyme activities. Massive intestinal resection resulted in ileal hypertrophy and an apparently maladaptive specific downregulation in ASBT protein expression. In this model bile acid pool size correlated with the amount of residual ASBT-expressing terminal ileum. Cholesterol and bile acid biosynthetic enzyme activities were inversely related to bile acid pool size. Adaptive changes in ASBT expression and alterations in bile acid and cholesterol homeostasis are dependent on the type and location of intestinal resection.