In the search for neuroactive compounds that mimic the nerve growth factor (NGF) activity for the protection against neurodegenerative diseases, the potential medicinal values of foods and plants attracts intense interest. Isofuranodiene is the major constituent of the essential oil of wild celery (Smyrnium olusatrum L., Apiaceae). The cytotoxic effects of isofuranodiene towards rat neuronal PC-12 pheochromocytoma cells were determined by MTT assay, while the cell differentiation was evaluated with xCELLigence real time cell analysis system (RTCA DP), and the neuritogenic activity was assessed by neurite outgrowth image analysis. Isofuranodiene at concentrations of 25 and 12.5 mu M alone, or in combination with 50 nM NGF, showed a marked stimulation of neuritogenesis, but it was more effective at 12.5 mu M with or without NGF. The present study reports the first evidence of the neuritogenic effects of isofuranodiene, which appears to be a promising neurotrophic and neuroprotective agent deserving further investigation. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.