[en] Peripherin is an intermediate filament protein that is expressed in peripheral and enteric neurons. In the cochlear nervous system, peripherin expression has been extensively used as a differentiation marker by preferentially labeling the type II neuronal population at adulthood, but yet without knowing its function. Since the expression of peripherin has been associated in time with the process of axonal extension and during regeneration of nerve fibers in other systems, it was of interest to determine whether peripherin expression in cochlear neurons was a static phenotypic trait or rather prone to modifications following nerve injury. In the present study, we first compared the expression pattern of peripherin and beta III-tubulin from late embryonic stages to the adult in rat cochlea. The staining for both proteins was seen before birth within all cochlear neurons. By birth, and for 2 or 3 days, peripherin expression was gradually restricted to the type II neuronal population and their projections. In contrast, from postnatal day (P) 10 onwards, while the expression of beta III-tubulin was still found in projections of all cochlear neurons, only the type I population had beta III-tubulin immunoreactivity in their cell bodies. We next investigated the expression of peripherin in axotomized cochlear neurons using an organotypic explant model. Peripherin expression was surprisingly re-expressed in a vast majority of neurons after axotomy. In parallel, the expression and localization of beta III-tubulin and peripherin in dissociated cultures of cochlear neurons were studied. Both proteins were distributed along the entire neuronal length but exhibited complementary distribution, especially within the projections. Moreover, peripherin immunoreactivity was still abundant in the growth cone, whereas that of beta III-tubulin was decreasing at this compartment. Our findings are consistent with a model in which peripherin plays an important structural role in cochlear neurons and their projections during both development and regenerative processes and which is compatible with the assumption that frequently developmentally regulated factors are reactivated during neuronal regeneration.