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PLoS One. 2016 Dec 1;11(12):e0167307. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0167307. eCollection 2016.

Global Deletion of TSPO Does Not Affect the Viability and Gene Expression Profile.

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Department of Immunology, Research Center on Pediatric Development and Diseases, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and School of Basic Medicine, Peking Union Medical College, State Key Laboratory of Medical Molecular Biology, Beijing, China.
Beijing Thorgene Medical Laboratory, Yizhuang Biomedical Park, Beijing, China.
Department of Otolaryngology, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Science and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China.


Translocator Protein (18kDa, TSPO) is a mitochondrial outer membrane transmembrane protein. Its expression is elevated during inflammation and injury. However, the function of TSPO in vivo is still controversial. Here, we constructed a TSPO global knockout (KO) mouse with a Cre-LoxP system that abolished TSPO protein expression in all tissues and showed normal phenotypes in the physiological condition. The birth rates of TSPO heterozygote (Het) x Het or KO x KO breeding were consistent with Mendel's Law, suggesting a normal viability of TSPO KO mice at birth. RNA-seq analysis showed no significant difference in the gene expression profile of lung tissues from TSPO KO mice compared with wild type mice, including the genes associated with bronchial alveoli immune homeostasis. The alveolar macrophage population was not affected by TSPO deletion in the physiological condition. Our findings contradict the results of Papadopoulos, but confirmed Selvaraj's findings. This study confirms TSPO deficiency does not affect viability and bronchial alveolar immune homeostasis.

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