The distribution of neuronal intermediate filament proteins in the developing mouse olfactory bulb and olfactory epithelium was characterized by immunocytochemical approach. Antibodies against alpha-internexin, neurofilament triplet proteins (NFTPs; NF-L, NF-M, and NF-H) and peripherin were used to determine their expression at different developmental stages. Alpha-internexin and peripherin were first found to be co-localized in the olfactory neuroepithelium during early development. At the perinatal stage, expression patterns of alpha-internexin and peripherin are distinguishable by spatial and temporal manner: peripherin is predominantly expressed in the olfactory nerves; whereas alpha-internexin is expressed in both olfactory nerves and olfactory bulb. Our observation suggests that peripherin as well as alpha-internexin may play some roles in the process formation of olfactory nerves during development. In the developing olfactory periglomerulus, alpha-internexin was found around postnatal Day 3, whereas NFTPs were not observed until postnatal Day 7. Our data showed that the expression of alpha-internexin preceded those of the NFTPs in most neurons of the developing olfactory bulb. Some small neurons in the adult olfactory bulb were uniquely labeled with antibody to alpha-internexin. Our results suggest that alpha-internexin may play a functional role in the neuronal cytoarchitecture of developing olfactory system, and can be a neuronal marker for detecting postmitotic migrating neurons in the adult olfactory bulb.