In ruminants, microbial-derived nucleic acids are a major source of N and are absorbed as nucleosides by small intestinal epithelia. Although the biochemical activities of 2 nucleoside transport systems have been described for cattle, little is known regarding the regulation of their gene expression. This study was conducted to test 2 hypotheses: (1) the small intestinal epithelia of beef cattle differentially express mRNA for 3 concentrative (CNT1, 2, 3) and 2 equilibrative (ENT1, 2) nucleoside transporters (NT), and (2) expression of these NT is responsive to small intestine luminal supply of rumen-derived microbes (hence, nucleosides), energy (cornstarch hydrolysate, SH), or both. Eighteen ruminally and abomasally catheterized Angus steers (260 +/- 17 kg of BW) were fed an alfalfa cube-based diet at 1.33x NE(m) requirement. Six steers in each of 3 periods were blocked by BW (heavy vs. light). Within each block, 3 steers were randomly assigned to 3 treatments (n = 6): ruminal and abomasal water infusion (control), ruminal SH infusion/abomasal water infusion, or ruminal water infusion/abomasal SH infusion. The dosage of SH infusion amounted to 20% of ME intake. After a 14-or 16-d infusion period, steers were slaughtered, and duodenal, jejunal, and ileal epithelia were harvested for total RNA extraction and the relative amounts of mRNA expressed were determined using real-time RT-PCR quantification methodologies. All 5 NT mRNA were found expressed by each epithelium, but their abundance differed among epithelia. Specifically, jejunal expression of all 5 NT mRNA was higher than that by the ileum, whereas jejunal expression of CNT1, CNT3, and ENT1 mRNA was higher, or tended to be higher, than duodenal expression. Duodenal expression of CNT2, CNT3, and ENT2 mRNA was higher than ileal expression. With regard to SH infusion treatments, ruminal infusion increased duodenal expression of CNT3 (67%), ENT1 (51%), and ENT2 (39%) mRNA and ileal expression of CNT3 (210%) and ENT2 (65%) mRNA. Abomasal infusion increased (54%) ileal expression of ENT2 mRNA and tended to increase (50%) jejunal ENT2 mRNA expression. This study has uniquely characterized the pattern of NT mRNA expression by growing beef cattle and found that the mRNA abundance for CNT3, ENT1, and ENT2 in small intestinal epithelia can be increased by increasing the luminal supply of nucleotides (CNT3, ENT1, ENT2) or glucose (ENT2).