A three-compartment physical model is devised for transepithelial passive transport across intestinal cells. The mathematical equations derived from the model allow the simultaneous and quantitative measurements, in the form of permeability coefficients, of solute transport across both the luminal-serosal and serosal-blood barriers. The proposed model is used to study the involvement of the cytoskeleton in butyric acid absorption by the rat jejunum. Alterations in cytoskeletal functions are introduced by the administration of microfilamentous and microtubular altering agents such as cytochalasin, colchicine, or EDTA. An isolated jejunal segment perfused with a buffer containing labeled butyric acid was homogenized at the end of the experiment and assayed for its butyric acid content. During the perfusion, portal blood samples, as well as perfusate samples collected 10 cm distal to the perfusion site were drawn at 5-min intervals and assayed for their radioactivity. Cytochalasin was found to decrease the permeability of the mucosal membrane to butyric acid and to increase that of the serosal membrane. Colchicine did not have any effect either on the mucosal or on the serosal side. Cytochalasin and colchicine, when given in the same experiment, increased the permeability of the serosal membrane to butyric acid, but were without any effect on the mucosal barrier. Also, EDTA had no effect on the mucosal side, but decreased significantly the permeability of the serosal membrane to the fatty acid.