Neuroblastoma cell lines were used to examine the differential interspecies response (i.e., species selectivity) to organophosphates (OPs). Baseline activities of the major target esterases, i.e., cholinesterase, carboxylesterase, and neurotoxic esterase, were assayed in mouse and several human neural candidate cell lines. These activities were found to be variable within individual cell lines and among the various tested cell lines. Cytotoxicity data using the neutral red fluorometric assay were collected on both human (SH-SY5Y) and mouse (NB41A3) neuroblastoma clones exposed to a variety of OP insecticides. IC50 data indicated that the tested mouse cell line was consistently more sensitive than the human cell line to equimolar doses of various OP compounds (e.g., mipafox, parathion, paraoxon, DFP, leptophos oxon, fenthion, and fenitrothion). These data suggest that interspecies-selectivity in response to OP-related cytotoxicity is influenced by intercellular differences in metabolism and baseline esterase activities.