Using clones N1E-115 and N1A-103 from mouse neuroblastoma C1300, a comparative analysis of c- and N-myc gene expression was undertaken both in proliferating cells and in cultures exposed to conditions which induce differentiation. Under the latter conditions, while N1E-115 cells extend abundant neurites and express many biochemical features of mature neurons, clone N1A-103 stops dividing and expresses certain neurospecific markers but is unable to differentiate morphologically. In both clones, chemical agents, i.e. 1-methyl cyclohexane carboxylic acid (CCA) or dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), induce a decrease in c-myc expression. Similar results were found for N-myc gene in N1E-115 cells, but in contrast, in clone N1A-103, N-myc expression is increased with CCA and not modified with DMSO. Globally, this study favours the hypothesis that changes in c-myc expression would correspond to cell division blockade and differentiation, while modulations in N-myc are more closely related to an early phase of terminal differentiation.