In mammals, fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signaling controls liver specification and regulates the metabolism of lipids,
cholesterol, and bile acids. FGF signaling also promotes hepatocyte proliferation, and helps detoxify hepatotoxin during liver
regeneration after partial hepatectomy. However, the function of Fgf in zebrafish liver is not yet well understood, specifically
for postnatal homeostasis. The current study analyzed the expression of fgf receptors (fgfrs) in the liver of zebrafish. We then investigated the function of Fgf signaling in the zebrafish liver by expressing a dominant-negative
Fgf receptor in hepatocytes (lfabp:dnfgfr1-egfp, lf:dnfr). Histological analysis showed that our genetic intervention resulted in a small liver size with defected medial expansion
of developing livers in transgenic (Tg) larvae. Morphologically, the liver lobe of lf:dnfr adult fish was shorter than that of control. Ballooning degeneration of hepatocytes was observed in fish as young as 3 months.
Further examination revealed the development of hepatic steatosis and cholestasis. In adult Tg fish, we unexpectedly observed
increased liver-to-body-weight ratios, with higher percentages of proliferating hepatocytes. Considering all these findings,
we concluded that as in mammals, in adult zebrafish the metabolism of lipid and bile acids in the liver are regulated by Fgf
signaling. Disruption of the Fgf signal-mediated metabolism might indirectly affect hepatocyte proliferation.