An eye defect induced in Drosophila-melanogaster by 5-fluorouracil (51218) (5FU) was described. The abnormality was detected during an evaluation of D-melanogaster as a possible screen for developmental toxicants utilizing 4FU and 31 other test agents. The defect consisted of a pronounced indentation along the anterior eye margin that occurred unilaterally and bilaterally and was seen in adult male and female flies. Approximately 6.7% of the flies that had been exposed to 1.5 micrograms (microg) per vial 5FU and 9.4% of those exposed to 2.0microg/vial during the egg through instar larval stage had the defect. The defect was not seen in flies that had been exposed to three 5FU concentrations below 1.5microg/vial or in any of the concurrent controls. It was also not seen in over 15,000 control flies in screening tests with the other developmental toxicants. The authors conclude that 5FU, which is a proven animal and suspected human teratogen, induces malformations in developing Drosophila. Drosophila may be a useful model for screening suspected developmental toxicants.
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