The association between periodic acid Schiff staining and immunoreactivity to laminin, fibronectin, vitronectin, and type VI collagen was studied qualitatively and quantitatively in the retinal vascular bed from 7 eyes of 5 diabetic patients and from 5 eyes of 5 normal persons. In the retina from diabetic patients the number of arterioles showing immunoreactivity to vitronectin, the number of venules showing immunoreactivity to type VI collagen, and the number of both arterioles and venules showing immunoreactivity to laminin and fibronectin, was higher than in normals. There was no difference between the number of capillaries showing periodic acid Schiff staining and immunoreactivity to laminin, fibronectin, and vitronectin when comparing areas of vascular occlusion with adjacent control areas. However, the number of capillaries displaying immunoreactivity to type VI collagen was higher in control areas than in areas of vascular occlusion in diabetic patients and in normal controls. Staining with periodic acid Schiff correlated topographically with immunoreactivity to laminin and fibronectin, but not with immunoreactivity to vitronectin and type VI collagen. In areas of vascular occlusion there was seen no immunoreactivity or histological staining corresponding to the material accumulated to occlude the ghost vessels.