Fatty acids in milk are thought to play an important role in intestinal maturation and gene expression in the rat small intestine during the suckling–weaning period. In the present study, we determined the jejunal mRNA level of the cAMP-response-element-binding-protein-binding protein (CBP)/p300, which is one of the chromatin remodelling factors and regulates histone acetylation, during the postnatal period in rats. The mRNA level of CBP/p300 was high during the suckling and middle of the weaning period (day 5 to 20) and then declined sharply to a low level at the end of the weaning period and after weaning. In situ hybridisation also showed that CBP/p300 mRNA levels in the villus as well as the basal membrane clearly decreased after weaning. Rat pups at age 17 d, weaned to a high-fat diet, showed higher levels of CBP/p300 mRNA than those weaned to a low-fat diet. Oral administration of caprylic acid, oleic acid and linoleic acid, which are major fatty acid components in milk, induced jejunal CBP/p300 gene expression. The present results suggest that fatty acids in components of milk enhance expression of the CBP/p300 genes in the small intestine.