A series of 1-arylpyrrolo[1,2-a]pyrazine-3-carboxamides were designed and synthesized as 18kDa translocator protein (TSPO) ligands. Anxiolytic-like activity of compounds was evaluated in the open field test and elevated plus maze test. Compounds 1a and 1b demonstrated high anxiolytic-like effect in the dose range of 0.1-1.0mg/kg comparable with that of diazepam. The involvement of TSPO receptor in the mechanism of anxiolytic-like activity of new compounds was proved by antagonism of the most active compound 1a with TSPO selective inhibitor PK11195. In vitro binding studies demonstrated high TSPO affinities for compounds 1a and 1b.