The aim of this preliminary study was to establish a primary insect cell culture from total embryos and embryonic brain tissues of Periplaneta americana, collected from Izmir, Turkey. Cells were cultured at 29 degrees C in Grace's insect medium for one month. In the embryonic brain tissue culture, single cells and cell clumps containing spherical and ovoid as well as dividing cells were observed. Single bipolar neurons were detected after 4 days in culture. Network systems comprised of bipolar neurons were observed on the 5th day of incubation. In addition, presumably glia cells were observed in the embryonic brain culture. In the total embryo culture, the cell population exhibited variable morphologies, including spherical, spindle-like, polygonal and giant cells after nearly 20 days; the culture covered almost half of the Petri dish area within 30 days. This preliminary study associated with Periplaneta americana primary cell culture is the first of its kind in Turkey. These results should contribute to the development of new insect cell lines that are indigenous to Turkey.