The liver plays a key role in lipid metabolism. Depending on species it is, more or less, the hub of fatty acid synthesis and lipid circulation through lipoprotein synthesis. Eventually the accumulation of lipid droplets into the hepatocytes results in hepatic steatosis, which may develop as a consequence of multiple dysfunctions such as alterations in β-oxidation, very low density lipoprotein secretion, and pathways involved in the synthesis of fatty acids. In addition an increased circulating pool of non-esterified fatty acid may also to be a major determinant in the pathogenesis fatty liver disease. This review also focuses on transcription factors such as sterol-regulatory-element-binding protein-1c and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha, which promote either hepatic fatty acid synthesis or oxidation.