Despite the growing incidence of obesity, knowledge of how this condition, as well as associated steatosis, affects liver regeneration remains scarce. Many previous studies have used models of steatohepatitis or obesity induced by genetic alterations. In contrast, our studies on liver regeneration have focused on the effects of obesity resulting solely from high amounts of fat in the diet. This model more closely reflects the detrimental effects of dietary habits responsible for increased morbidity due to obesity and its complications in well-developed Western societies. Impairment of liver regeneration was observed after partial hepatectomy in mice fed a high-fat diet. Fatty livers were more susceptible to posthepatectomy damage and failure. The underlying molecular mechanism was associated with increased inhibitor of nuclear factor-kappa B alpha (IkappaBalpha) expression, which inhibited nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kappaB) activation and induction of its target genes, cyclin D1 and Bcl-xL, increasing sensitivity to apoptosis initiated by elevated tumor necrosis factor-alpha. In addition, since mice fed with a high-fat diet have higher leptin levels caused by increased adiposity, our work supports the hypothesis that the impairment of regeneration previously seen in genetically obese mice indeed results from liver steatosis rather than the disruption of leptin signaling. In conclusion, high fat in the diet impairs liver regeneration and predisposes steatotic livers to increased injury through IkappaBalpha overexpression and subsequent NF-kappaB inhibition.