Animal Models of Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis: Eat, Delete, and Inflame

Dig Dis Sci. 2016 May;61(5):1325-36. doi: 10.1007/s10620-015-3977-1. Epub 2015 Dec 1.


With the obesity epidemic, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has become a public health problem with increasing prevalence. The mechanism of disease progression remains obscure and effective therapy is lacking. Therefore, there is a need to understand the pathogenic mechanisms responsible for disease development and progression in order to develop innovative therapies. To accomplish this goal, experimental animal models that recapitulate the human disease are necessary, especially, since causative mechanistic studies of NAFLD are more difficult or unethical to perform in humans. A large number of studies regarding the pathophysiology and treatment of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) have been undertaken in mice to model human NAFLD and NASH. This review discusses the known dietary, genetic, and inflammation-based animal models of NASH described in recent years, with a focus on the major advances made in this field.

Keywords: Animal model; Fibrosis; Hepatocellular ballooning; Inflammation; Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis; Steatosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diet / adverse effects
  • Dietary Fats / adverse effects
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / etiology
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / metabolism
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / pathology*


  • Dietary Fats