Peptide transporter 1 (SLC15A1, PepT1), excitatory amino acid transporter 3 (SLC1A1, EAAT3) and cationic amino acid transporter 1 (SLC7A1, CAT1) were identified as genes responsible for the transport of small peptides and amino acids. The tissue expression pattern of rabbit (SLC15A1, SLC7A1 and SLC1A1) across the digestive tract remains unclear. The present study investigated SLC15A1, SLC7A1 and SLC1A1 gene expression patterns across the digestive tract at different stages of development and in response to dietary protein levels. Real time-PCR results indicated that SLC15A1, SLC7A1 and SLC1A1 genes throughout the rabbits’ entire development and were expressed in all tested rabbit digestive sites, including the stomach, duodenum, jejunum, ileum, colon and cecum. Furthermore, SLC7A1 and SLC1A1 mRNA expression occurred in a tissue-specific and time-associated manner, suggesting the distinct transport ability of amino acids in different tissues and at different developmental stages. The most highly expressed levels of all three genes were in the duodenum, ileum and jejunum in all developmental stages. All increased after lactation. With increased dietary protein levels, SLC7A1 mRNA levels in small intestine and SLC1A1 mRNA levels in duodenum and ileum exhibited a significant decreasing trend. Moreover, rabbits fed a normal level of protein had the highest levels of SLC15A1 mRNA in the duodenum and jejunum (P<0.05). In conclusion, gene mRNA differed across sites and with development suggesting time and sites related differences in peptide and amino acid absorption in rabbits. The effects of dietary protein on expression of the three genes were also site specific.