Basal lamina is reconstructed over the lesioned surface of the spinal cord. The following experiment (90 rats) studies the ultrastructure of the formation of this membrane and the immunohistochemistry of laminin production (a major secreted component of basal lamina). After hemisection of the spinal cord at T6 animals were prepared for electron microscopy or antilaminin-biotin-avidin-peroxidase incubation. Three-5 days posthemisection, antilaminin reaction product was observed in astrocytes and their processes which faced the lesion, endothelia of blood vessels or pia. Ultrastructurally (3 days), basal lamina was polymerizing as small projections on the surface of astrocytic membranes facing the lesion, endothelia or pia. By 5 days the basal lamina was a single membrane, folded multiple sheets or in swirls. At 6-10 days the antilaminin reaction and the basal lamina (except for duplications) did not differ from normal. Reactive astrocytes secrete laminin for at least 3-5 days after hemisection and form basal lamina on the lesioned surface of the spinal cord after spinal cord hemisection.