Translocator protein (18 kDa) (TSPO) is a mitochondrial protein expressed by reactive microglia and astrocytes at the site of neuronal injury. Although TSPO function has not been fully determined, synthetic TSPO ligands have beneficial effects on different pathologies of the central nervous system, including the retina. Here, we studied the pattern of Tspo expression in the aging human retina and in two mouse models of retinal degeneration. Using a newly generated Tspo-KO mouse, we investigated the impact of the lack of TSPO on retinal morphology, function and susceptibility to degeneration. We show that TSPO was expressed in both human and mouse retina and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). Tspo was induced in the mouse retina upon degeneration, but constitutively expressed in the RPE. Similarly, TSPO expression levels in healthy human retina and RPE were not differentially regulated during aging. Tspo-KO mice had normal retinal morphology and function up to 48 weeks of age. Photoreceptor loss caused either by exposure to excessive light levels or by a mutation in the phosphodiesterase 6b gene was not affected by the absence of Tspo. The reactivity states of retinal mononuclear phagocytes following light-damage were comparable in Tspo-KO and control mice. Our data suggest that lack of endogenous TSPO does not directly influence the magnitude of photoreceptor degeneration or microglia activation in these two models of retinal degeneration. We therefore hypothesize that the interaction of TSPO with its ligands may be required to modulate disease progression.