Red 3 was applied to nerve synapses in the frog, producing an irreversible, dose-dependent increase in neurotransmitter release.
The author suggested this may be useful for studying neurotransmitters, but that the use of Red 3 as a food additive should be reexamined.
Augustine 1983: Neurotransmitter Release and Nerve Terminal Morphology at the Frog Neuromuscular Junction Affected by the Dye Erythrosin B.
The Journal of Physiology. 334: 47-63
This is a study on frog nerves exposed to Red 3 and the results on the frog’s nerve terminals, including miniature end-plate potential (m.e.p.p.) frequency which increased exponentially during exposure to the dye. Presynaptic effects were irreversible and the mitochondria were swollen.
Augustine 1983: Presynaptic Effect of Erythrosin B at the Frog Neuromuscular Junction: Ion and Photon Sensitivity.
Calcium, sodium, potassium and light were experimentally increased or decreased to determine interactions with Red 3. The dye showed evidence of competing with calcium at a common site, while the enhancement of its effect in elevated external calcium suggests that the dye may also increase the permeability of the nerve terminal to calcium ions.