Genetic and Diet-Induced Animal Models for Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) Research

Christina-Maria Flessa, Narjes Nasiri-Ansari, Ioannis Kyrou, Bianca M. Leca, Maria Lianou, Antonios Chatzigeorgiou, Gregory Kaltsas, Eva Kassi*, Harpal S. Randeva*, Giovanni Tarantino (Editor)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


A rapidly increasing incidence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is noted worldwide due to the adoption of western-type lifestyles and eating habits. This makes the understanding of the molecular mechanisms that drive the pathogenesis of this chronic disease and the development of newly approved treatments of utmost necessity. Animal models are indispensable tools for achieving these ends. Although the ideal mouse model for human NAFLD does not exist yet, several models have arisen with the combination of dietary interventions, genetic manipulations and/or administration of chemical substances. Herein, we present the most common mouse models used in the research of NAFLD, either for the whole disease spectrum or for a particular disease stage (e.g., non-alcoholic steatohepatitis). We also discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each model, along with the challenges facing the researchers who aim to develop and use animal models for translational research in NAFLD. Based on these characteristics and the specific study aims/needs, researchers should select the most appropriate model with caution when translating results from animal to human.
Original languageEnglish
Article number15791
Number of pages34
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number24
Early online date13 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (


  • Review
  • non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • non-alcoholic steatohepatitis
  • NASH
  • animal models
  • mouse
  • cirrhosis


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