Maid is a helix-loop-helix protein that is involved in cell proliferation. In order to further elucidate its physiological functions, we studied Maid activity in two small fish model systems. We found that Maid expression was greatest in zebrafish liver and that it increased following partial hepatectomy. Maid levels were also high in hepatic preneoplastic foci induced by treatment of zebrafish with diethylnitrosamine (DEN), but low in hepatocellular carcinomas (HCC), mixed tumors, and cholangiocarcinomas developing in these animals. In DEN-treated transgenic medaka overexpressing Maid, hepatic BrdU uptake and proliferation were reduced. After successive breedings, Maid transgenic medaka exhibited decreased movement and a higher incidence of abnormal spine curvature, possibly due to the senescence of spinal cord cells. Taken together, our results suggest that Maid levels can influence the progression of liver cancer. In conclusion, we found that Maid is important regulator of hepatocarconogenesis and aging.