Clinical studies have found that the levels of TSPO in the brain of patients with different types of anxiety are lower than normal, and the content of TSPO in peripheral blood mononuclear cells and platelets is also significantly decreased. For example, TSPO levels in platelets in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder are significantly reduced, and this reduction is closely related to the clinical symptoms exhibited by patients. TSPO will become a potential new target for the treatment of anxiety disorders.
TSPO ligands can be used to diagnose and treat neuropsychiatric disorders. TSPO ligands include endogenous and exogenous ligands. Many endogenous molecules, that is endogenous ligands, have a high affinity for TSPO. Exogenous ligands can be used to investigate the sites, structure, physiologic function and pharmacological properties of TSPO. In addition, TSPO ligands play a cardioprotective role by maintaining cardiac electrical activity, ensuring mitochondrial energy supply, preventing mitochondrial membrane potential decline, and inhibiting reactive oxygen species release. It has been reported that it can be used as a potential therapeutic target for diseases including arrhythmia, myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury, cardiac hypertrophy, atherosclerosis and macrovascular vasculitis.