Endothelium of large arteries from several species was studied in thin sections with the electron microscope. Before sacrifice, some animals received an intravenous injection of colloidal thorium dioxide which was visualized in the sections. Surface replicas were prepared by carbon evaporation on either frozen-dried endothelium or on endothelium dried by sublimation of naphthalene with which the tissue had been impregnated. Cell boundaries, stained with silver, were observed in sections and also from the surface by stripping off the inner part of the endothelium.
In addition to the usual cytoplasmic organelles, the endothelial cells showed certain characteristic features, namely, large invaginated pockets communicating with the arterial lumen, numerous much smaller vesicular structures immediately under the plasma membrane and apparently also communicating with the lumen, and inclusions, into which injected thorium particles were incorporated. Intercellular boundaries appeared as regular double membranes in thin sections, and they were outlined by a double row of silver granules after silver staining. No evidence was obtained of permeation of intracellular spaces by colloidal thorium.