We have used polyclonal antibodies generated against purified bovine renal amiloride-sensitive Na+ channels to localize amiloride-sensitive Na+ channels within the lower intestine (colon and coprodeum) of the hen. These antibodies cross-reacted with two polypeptides exhibiting Mr's of 235 and 150 kDa on immunoblots of detergent-solubilized apical membrane fractions from both the colon and coprodeum. The apparent molecular masses of theses polypeptides are in agreement with the Mr's of 2 of the subunits of the renal high amiloride-affintiy Na+ channel, namely the α and the β(=amiloride binding) subunits. The cellular distribution of Na+ channels was determined by immunoperoxidase and indirect immunofluorescence cytochemical techniques. The apical (luminal) membrane and cytoplasm of villar principal cells in both colon and coprodeum exhibited immunoreactivity, whereas goblet cells were nagative. Both principal and goblet cells of the crypts were also negative. We conclude that the amiloride-sensitive Na+ channels are localized to the principal cells of the intestinal villi and that these cells are responsible for intestinal Na+ absorption. © 1993 Springer-Verlag.