Destruction of the central endothelium of the rat cornea was produced by mechanical injury, total debridement, or transcorneal freezing. Endothelial repair was then studied using specular microscopy, histological staining, pachymetry, and autoradiographic analysis of the incorporation of tritiated thymidine into nuclear DNA. Following an initial process of cell slide to cover the endothelial defect, extensive cellular division occurred at the margins of the wound, with approximately 45% of cells in the wound area showing incorporation of tritiated thymidine. An intact monolayer of irregularly shaped cells was reestablished by 2-14 days, depending on the wound. These results suggest that the corneal endothelial repair processes in the rat are more analogous to those of the rabbit than to those of the cat or primate.