This paper challenges the hypothesis that the smooth 80 nm plasmalemmal caveolae found in abundance at the abluminal aspect of the endothelium in retinal blood vessels participate in a unidirectional vesicular transport mechanism. Evidence is presented which indicates that horseradish peroxidase, when introduced to the extracellular space of the retina via the vitreous body, may enter the intravascular compartment through junctional incompetence which occurs at or after enucleation of the eye. It is proposed that the plasmalemmal caveolae at the abluminal plasma membrane of endothelial cells in retinal blood vessels are static structures which facilitate the transport of small solutes and ions across the blood retinal barrier.
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