Alpha-copaene (alpha-COP), a tricyclic sesquiterpene, is present in several essential oils of medicinal and aromatic plants and has antioxidant and antigenotoxic features. Its cytotoxic, cytogenetic and oxidative effects have not been investigated in neuron and N2a neuroblastoma (NB) cell cultures. Therefore, we aimed to describe in vitro: (i) cytotoxic properties by 3-(4,5-dimetylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenlytetrazolium bromide test; (ii) antioxidant/oxidant activity by total antioxidant capacity (TAC) and total oxidative status (TOS) analysis; and (iii) genotoxic damage potential by single cell gel electrophoresis - of alpha-COP in healthy neuron and N2a-NB cell cultures for the first time. Significant (P < 0.05) decrease in cell proliferation were observed in cultured primary rat neurons starting with the concentration of 150 mg/L and in N2a-NB cells starting with 100 mg/L. In addition, 25 mg/L of alpha-COP treatment caused increase of TAC levels and alpha-COP treatments at higher doses led to increase of TOS levels in neuron N2a-NB cell cultures. Moreover, none of the tested concentrations of alpha-COP have shown a genotoxic effect on both cell lines. Our findings clearly demonstrate that alpha-COP exhibited mild cytotoxic effects on N2a-NB cell line. In conclusion, alpha-COP may have potential as an anticancer agent, which needs to be further studied.