Stringent toxicological tests have to be performed prior to the industrial development of alternative chemicals particularly high energy dense materials (HEDMs) such as explosives. The properties (e.g., power, stability) of these compounds are constantly being improved, the current axis of research being the nitration of nitrogen heterocycles leading to HEDMs such as nitropyrazole-derived molecules. However, except for 3,4,5-trinitropyrazole (3,4,5-TNP), which was shown to be highly toxic in mice, the toxicological impact of these HEDMs has so far not been investigated. Furthermore, as industrials are strongly advised to develop alternative safety testing assays to in vivo experiments, we herein focused on determining the cytotoxic and genotoxic effects of seven Nitropyrazole-derived HEDMs on three rodent cell lines (mouse embryonic BALB/3T3 clone A31 cells, Chinese hamster ovary cells CHO-K1 and mouse lymphoma L5178Y TK +/- clone (3.7.2C) cells), two human fibroblast lines (CRC05, PFS04062) and on the human hepatic HepaRG model (both in proliferative and differentiated cells). A stronger cytotoxic effect was observed for 1,3-dinitropyrazole (1, 3-DNP) and 3,4,5-TNP in all cell lines, though differentiated HepaRG cells clearly displayed fewer likely due to the metabolism and elimination of these molecules by their functional biotransformation pathways. At the mechanistic level, the sub-chronic cytotoxic and genotoxic effects were linked to ROS/RNS production (experimental assays), HA2.X and to transcriptomic data highlighting the increase in DNA repair mechanisms. Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.