Scanning electron microscopic observations of rat bone marrow reveal that the sinusoidal wall is continuous and has no permanent patent apertures allowing free communication between the extravascular and intravascular myeloid compartments. Blood cells migrate into the sinusoids by perforating the endothelial cell body. Platelets are derived from long intrasinusoidal "proplatelet" processes which originate from the cell body of extravascularly located megakaryocytes. Proplatelet processes frequently occur in clusters, with the probability that all processes in a cluster arise from a single megakaryocyte. The release of platelets into the circulation may be initiated by local constriction along these processes, at which places either individual platelets or larger segments of proplatelet cytoplasm are pinched off. The larger segments may subsequently undergo further fragmentation into individual platelets.