- High concentrations of NaF changes Sf9 cell morphology.
- Cell viability decreased along with NaF concentration increased.
- Half-inhibitory concentration (IC50) for NaF of 5919 µM at 72 h.
- NaF induced cells apoptosis and dysregulation of protein expression.
Accumulation of excess fluoride has a destructive effect on the environment, endangering human health, affecting organism growth and development, and leading to damage to the biological chain, thereby affecting ecological environment balance. In recent years, numerous studies focused on the molecular mechanisms associated with fluoride toxicity; however, fluoride-toxicity mechanisms in insect cells remain unclear. This study explored the toxic impact of sodium fluoride (NaF) on Spodoptera frugiperda 9 (Sf9) insect cells. High concentrations of NaF (10-4M, 10-3M and 10-2M) resulted in cell enlargement, cell membrane blurring and breakage, and release of cellular contents. Dose-response curves indicated that NaF-specific inhibition rates on Sf9-cell activity increased along with increases in NaF concentration, with a half-inhibitory concentration (IC50) for NaF of 5.919× 10-3M at 72h. Compared with controls, the percentages of early and late apoptotic and necrotic cells clearly increased based on observed increases in NaF concentrations. Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis combined with matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry was used to detect differentially expressed proteins in Sf9 cells treated with IC50 NaF, identifying 17 proteins, seven of which were upregulated and 10 downregulated. These results demonstrated that Sf9 cells showed signs of NaF-mediated toxicity through alterations in cell morphology, apoptosis rates, and protein expression.