Vascular permeability is closely linked with angiogenesis in a number of pathologies. In the retina, the normally well-developed blood-retinal barrier is altered in a host of eye diseases preceding or commensurate with angiogenesis. This review examines the literature regarding the tight junction complex that establishes the blood-retinal barrier focusing on the transmembrane proteins occludin and the claudin family and the membrane associated protein zonula occludens. The changes observed in these proteins associated with vascular and epithelial permeability is discussed. Finally, novel literature addressing the link between the tight junction complex and angiogenesis is considered.