Trophic molecules are key regulators of survival, growth and differentiation of neural cells. Neuronal cell type Neuro-2a is a good model to study development and molecules modulating this process, and retinoic acid (RA) and neurotrophins (NGF, BDNF, NT-3 and NT-4) have been shown to be active in this modulation. The purpose of the present study was the functional analysis of these trophic molecules in our short-term bioassay of Neuro-2a cells, an immortalised murine neuroblastoma cell line. Through cell counting, image process and arithmetic combination of digital parameters of treated and untreated cultures, we show that RA inhibits growth and induces morphological neuronal phenotype of treated cells. Through DNA labelling with BrdU we also show that NGF, BDNF, and NT-3 increase survival and proliferation of cells, grown in serum-deprived media. From these results we conclude that neurotrophins have manifest trophic effects on cells improving survival, growth and proliferation and we also confirm the growth arrest and differentiation properties of RA on Neuro-2a cells.