Eye removal in adult rats resulted in an increase in immunohistochemical staining with antibodies to glial fibrillary acidic protein in the optic nerve, optic tract, and primary visual nuclei. Astrocytes along the primary visual pathway did not stain with antibodies to laminin in response to eye removal. There was an increase in laminin immunoreactivity associated with blood vessels along the injured pathway. These blood vessels were also shown to have an increased size. The lack of laminin induction in astrocytes along the path of degenerating optic axons may be responsible in part for the inability of axons to regenerate in the primary visual system.