Previous investigations established that focal subretinal injections of neuraminidase, chondroitinase, and hyaluronidase in the rabbit lead to a diffuse loss of retinal adhesiveness beyond the site of injection. This loss of adhesiveness, measured by peeling of the retina immediately after enucleation, correlates with changes in the interphotoreceptor matrix (IPM), as monitored by lectin histochemistry. In this study, rabbits were evaluated during recovery of retinal adhesiveness after subretinal injections of neuraminidase and chondroitinase. Adhesion recovered steadily 5-20 days after chondroitinase injection. After administration of neuraminidase, adhesion remained low for approximately 14 days but recovered to normal by 20 days. The recovery of adhesiveness correlated closely with reestablishment of the normal distribution of peanut agglutinin-binding glycoconjugates in the IPM, one group of molecules thought to participate in retinal adhesion. Electroretinography and light microscopy showed no abnormalities in the retina or retinal pigment epithelium after recovery. These results suggest that IPM glycoconjugates participate in maintaining retinal adhesion.