An experiment was conducted to study the effects of dietary inulin supplementation on the electrophysiological properties of small intestine of suckling and weaned piglets as indicators for glucose absorption and barrier function. Ten sows were divided into two groups, receiving either a control diet, or a diet with 3% inulin. The diets were fed from 3 weeks ante partum to 6 weeks post partum. In the first 2 weeks of life, piglets received only sow"s milk. Irrespective to sex and without castration of males, four piglets (one piglet of each litter) from each group were selected and sacrificed on day 10 of age. The gastrointestinal tract of each piglet was removed and segments were immediately taken from the mid-jejunum and mounted in Ussing chambers. Furthermore, at weaning (6 weeks old) 8 piglets were randomly selected irrespective to sex and males were un-castrated (4 animals from sows received control diet and 4 animals from sows received 3% inulin supplemented diet) and fed for 2 weeks either control weaning diet or inulin supplemented diet. Thereafter segments of the mid-jejunum were used to investigate the effect of inulin on the gut electrophysiology of weaned piglets. The increase in short-circuit current (Isc) after the addition of glucose is an indicator of higher glucose absorption and the higher tissue conductance (Gt) of the epithelium suggested a higher intestinal permeability to paracellular Na(+). In suckling piglets, the addition of d-glucose on the luminal side of the isolated jejunal mucosa increased (P<0.001) the Isc in the inulin-supplemented and control groups compared to basal values. Electrogenic glucose transport (ΔIsc) was similar in suckling piglets from sows fed inulin or control diet, suggesting that feeding of inulin to the mother sows had no effect on glucose absorption across the jejunal mucosa of suckling piglets. However, the dietary inulin supplementation after weaning increased the ΔIsc (P<0.001) compared with the controls, suggesting that the inulin supplementation increased the electrogenic transport of glucose across the jejunal mucosa of weaned piglets indicating higher glucose absorption. Furthermore, the Gt was higher in the inulin-supplemented weaned piglets than in control piglets, which could be due to the increased paracellular permeability to Na(+). In conclusion, dietary inulin increased the glucose transport and altered the intestinal barrier by increasing the intestinal permeability in the jejunal mucosa of post-weaned piglets. Furthermore, the results indicated that inulin has a positive effect on glucose absorption in the piglet small intestine after weaning and subsequently the dietary inulin offers a promising approach to avoid post-weaning gastrointestinal tract disorders in pigs.