Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is a well-known perfluorinated compound (PFC), and its toxicological impact is currently of worldwide concern. In this study, we sought to evaluate the potential biological effects and modes of action of PFOA in a range of physiologically and developmentally related phenotypes in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. The results clearly indicated that the toxic effects of PFOA at the organismal level were associated with the developmental status of the organism, with larvae being most sensitive to this chemical. Except for the decreased weight of both sexes and the reduced longevity of male adults, PFOA had a robust effect on larval development, as determined by reduced body volume, aberrant foraging behavior, molting arrest, and polyphasic lethality. Remarkably, nutrient supplementation of the diet efficiently rescued the lethal effect of high PFOA concentrations on larval development. This result indicated that PFOA probably competed with nutritional components, leading to a disruption of the metabolic pathways responsible for larval development. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2010;29:2117–2122. © 2010 SETAC
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