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World J Gastroenterol. May 21, 2012; 18(19): 2300-2308
Published online May 21, 2012. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v18.i19.2300
Animal models of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease/nonalcoholic steatohepatitis
Yoshihisa Takahashi, Yurie Soejima, Toshio Fukusato
Yoshihisa Takahashi, Yurie Soejima, Toshio Fukusato, Department of Pathology, Teikyo University School of Medicine, Tokyo 173-8605, Japan
Author contributions: Takahashi Y wrote the manuscript; Soejima Y performed the experiments of fructose-induced animal nonalcoholic steatohepatitis; Fukusato T checked and revised the manuscript.
Correspondence to: Yoshihisa Takahashi, Associate Professor, MD, Department of Pathology, Teikyo University School of Medicine, 2-11-1 Kaga, Itabashi-ku, Tokyo 173-8605, Japan. ytakaha-tky@umin.ac.jp
Telephone: +81-3-39641211 Fax: +81-3-39649622
Received: October 11, 2011
Revised: February 20, 2012
Accepted: February 26, 2012
Published online: May 21, 2012

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a condition in which excess fat accumulates in the liver of a patient without a history of alcohol abuse. Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a severe form of NAFLD, can progress to liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. NAFLD is regarded as a hepatic manifestation of metabolic syndrome and incidence has been increasing worldwide in line with the increased prevalence of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and hyperlipemia. Animal models of NAFLD/NASH give crucial information, not only in elucidating pathogenesis of NAFLD/NASH but also in examining therapeutic effects of various agents. An ideal model of NAFLD/NASH should correctly reflect both hepatic histopathology and pathophysiology of human NAFLD/NASH. Animal models of NAFLD/NASH are divided into genetic, dietary, and combination models. In this paper, we review commonly used animal models of NAFLD/NASH referring to their advantages and disadvantages.

Keywords: Animal model, Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, Metabolic syndrome, Histopathology