Plasmodesmata are remarkable cellular machines responsible for the controlled exchange of proteins, small RNAs and signalling molecules between cells. They are lined by the plasma membrane (PM), contain a strand of tubular endoplasmic reticulum (ER), and the space between these two membranes is thought to control plasmodesmata permeability. Here, we have reconstructed plasmodesmata three-dimensional (3D) ultrastructure with an unprecedented level of 3D information using electron tomography. We show that within plasmodesmata, ER-PM contact sites undergo substantial remodelling events during cell differentiation. Instead of being open pores, post-cytokinesis plasmodesmata present such intimate ER-PM contact along the entire length of the pores that no intermembrane gap is visible. Later on, during cell expansion, the plasmodesmata pore widens and the two membranes separate, leaving a cytosolic sleeve spanned by tethers whose presence correlates with the appearance of the intermembrane gap. Surprisingly, the post-cytokinesis plasmodesmata allow diffusion of macromolecules despite the apparent lack of an open cytoplasmic sleeve, forcing the reassessment of the mechanisms that control plant cell-cell communication.