Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 61, Issue 5, pp 1325–1336 | Cite as

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

  • Samar H. Ibrahim
  • Petra Hirsova
  • Harmeet Malhi
  • Gregory J. GoresEmail author


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.


Animal model Fibrosis Hepatocellular ballooning Inflammation Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis Steatosis 



Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease


Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis


Methionine and choline deficient


Choline-deficient l-amino-defined


Very low-density lipoprotein


High-fat diet


Fast food


High fat


High fat, fructose, and cholesterol


High-fat high-sugar diet


Sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1


Phosphatase and tensin homolog


Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α


Acyl-coenzyme A oxidase


Methionine adenosyl transferase


Monocyte chemotactic protein 1


Chemokine (C–C motif) receptor 2


Toll-like receptor


Myeloid cell differentiation 88


Myeloid differentiation protein 2


C-jun N-terminal kinase


Mixed lineage kinase 3




NOD-like receptors


NOD-, LRR-, and pyrin domain-containing 3



The authors thank Courtney Hoover for her excellent secretarial assistance, Dr. Thomas Smyrk, and Dr. Kyoko Tomita for their help in acquiring the histological pictures.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors report no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Samar H. Ibrahim
    • 1
  • Petra Hirsova
    • 2
  • Harmeet Malhi
    • 2
  • Gregory J. Gores
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Division of Pediatric GastroenterologyMayo ClinicRochesterUSA
  2. 2.Division of Gastroenterology and HepatologyMayo ClinicRochesterUSA

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