We tested the effect of dietary fat on the lipid composition and hydrolase activity of jejunal brush border membranes in piglets. Eighteen 5-wk-old piglets were divided into three groups and for 4 wk fed either an unsaturated low fat diet (3.2% corn oil), an unsaturated high fat diet (17.2% corn oil) or a saturated high fat diet (2.2% corn oil + 15% tallow). Brush border membranes were prepared from the jejunal mucosa and analyzed for cholesterol, phospholipid and fatty acids. The activities of sucrase-isomaltase, lactase-phlorizin hydrolase, maltase-glucoamylase, aminopeptidase and alkaline phosphatase were measured. Lactase-phlorizin hydrolase isoforms were immunopurified and separated by SDS-PAGE, and their relative proportions were measured by densitometry. The activities of the disaccharidases and alkaline phosphatase, but not aminopeptidase, were greater in animals fed the saturated high fat diet than in animals fed the unsaturated high fat diet. The fatty acid composition of the membranes generally reflected the composition of the diet. Correlation analysis demonstrated that the phospholipid, fatty acid and cholesterol compositions of the membranes were associated with the differences in brush border hydrolase activity.