: We analyzed the participation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), namely p38, JNK and ERK 1/2 in steatotic and non-steatotic livers undergoing ischemia-reperfusion (I-R), an unresolved problem in clinical practice. Hepatic steatosis is a major risk factor in liver surgery because these types of liver tolerate poorly to I-R injury. Also, a further increase in the prevalence of steatosis in liver surgery is to be expected. The possible therapies based on MAPK regulation aimed at reducing hepatic I-R injury will be discussed. Moreover, we reviewed the relevance of MAPK in ischemic preconditioning (PC) and evaluated whether MAPK regulators could mimic its benefits. Clinical studies indicated that this surgical strategy could be appropriate for liver surgery in both steatotic and non-steatotic livers undergoing I-R. The data presented herein suggest that further investigations are required to elucidate more extensively the mechanisms by which these kinases work in hepatic I-R. Also, further researchers based in the development of drugs that regulate MAPKs selectively are required before such approaches can be translated into clinical liver surgery.