Published online May 21, 2012. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v18.i19.2300
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.