Purpose: In this study we investigated the effect of Taxol, radiation, or Taxol plus radiation on highly proliferative normal tissue - the intestinal crypt cells of Swiss albino mice. Materials and methods: Swiss-albino mice, 3-4 months old, were used in this study. Taxol was administered by bolus intravenously through the tail vein. Radiation was given using a linear accelerator. There were four treatment categories, which comprised a total of 34 groups. Each group consisted of five animals. The first category was a control category which comprised one group (n = 5). The second treatment category was Taxol alone which comprised three groups (n = 15). The third treatment category was radiation alone which comprised three groups (n = 15). The fourth treatment category was Taxol plus radiation which comprised 27 groups (n = 135). Mice were killed 24 h after Taxol or radiation or combined administration using ether anesthesia. Using a light microscope, apoptotic and mitotic indices were counted on jejunal crypt cells of mice that were stained with hematoxylin-eosin. Differences between groups were statistically evaluated with Student's t-test. Results: Taxol caused a dose-dependent increase in apoptosis (P = 0.045) and decreased the mitotic index (P = 0.006) at high doses. Similarly, radiation caused a dose-dependent increase in apoptosis (P = 0.046) and decreased the mitotic index (P = 0.299) at higher radiation doses. Compared to radiation alone, Taxol caused a significant induction of apoptosis (P = 0.010). In combination, no significant radiosensitizing effect of Taxol was observed (enhancement ratio < 1), when compared to radiation alone. However, an increase in apoptosis was observed after 24 h of Taxol exposure when compared to 12 or 48 h of Taxol exposure (P = 0.0001 and P = 0.0001). Conclusion: These findings suggest that Taxol did not cause a radiosensitizing effect in intestinal crypt cells. However, a 24-hour pretreatment of Taxol exposure followed by radiation caused significant induction of apoptosis and reduction of the mitotic index when compared to other Taxol timing sequences. Thus, the lack of a radiosensitizing effect of Taxol in these proliferative cells may be due to enhanced mitotic death rather than apoptotic death.