Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) represents a wide spectrum of diseases, ranging from simple fatty liver (hepatic steatosis) through steatosis with inflammation and necrosis to cirrhosis. NAFLD, which is strongly associated with obesity, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, is now well recognized as being part of the metabolic syndrome. The metabolic pathways leading to the development of hepatic steatosis are multiple, including enhanced non-esterified fatty acid release from adipose tissue (lipolysis), increased de novo fatty acids (lipogenesis) and decreased beta-oxidation. Recently, several mouse models have helped to clarify the molecular mechanisms leading to the development of hepatic steatosis in the pathogenesis of NAFLD. This review describes the models that have provided evidence implicating lipogenesis in the development and/or prevention of hepatic steatosis.