The blood-brain barrier (BBB) has been much more extensively investigated than the blood-nerve barrier (BNB). Nevertheless it is clear that there are both similarities and differences in the molecular and morphophysiological characteristics of the two barrier systems. A number of enzymes, transporters and receptors have been investigated at both the BNB and BBB, as well as in the perineurium of peripheral nerves, which is also a metabolically active diffusion barrier. While there have been few systematic comparisons of the distribution of these molecules in both the BNB and BBB, it is apparent from the data available, reviewed in this article, that their distribution also supports the concept of the BNB and BBB having some features in common but also showing distinct identities. These similarities and differences cannot simply be accounted for by the presence of the inductive influences of astrocytes at the BBB and absence at the BNB. Whether the Schwann cell also has the capacity to induce some BNB properties remains to be determined.