Rapidly progressing mucosal breakdown limits the intestinal preservation time below 10 h. Recent studies indicate that intraluminal solutions containing polyethylene glycol (PEG) alleviate preservation injury of intestines stored in UW-Viaspan. We investigated whether a low-sodium PEG solution is beneficial for intestines stored in histidine-tryptophane-ketoglutarate (HTK) preservation solution. Rat intestines used as control tissue (group 1) were perfused with HTK, groups 2 and 3 received either a customized PEG-3350 (group 2) or an electrolyte solution (group 3) intraluminally before cold storage. Tissue injury, brush-border maltase activity, zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1) and claudin-3 expression in the tight junctions (TJ) were analyzed after 8, 14 and 20 h. We measured epithelial resistance and permeability (Ussing chamber) after 8 and 14 h. Group 2 had superior morphology while maltase activity was similar in all groups. TJ proteins rapidly decreased and decolocalized in groups 1 3; these negative events were delayed in group 2, where colocalization persisted for about 14 h. Intestines in group 2 had higher epithelial resistance and lower permeability than the other groups. These results suggest that a customized PEG solution intraluminally reduces the intestinal preservation injury by improving several major epithelial characteristics without negatively affecting the brush-border enzymes or promoting edema.