The grade of MT staining in the liver was similar in SR and NR patients before IFN-alpha therapy, whereas it was higher in SR than in NR patients after therapy. These data are in agreement with our previous study, suggesting that IFN-alpha-induced hepatic MT may participate in the therapeutic effects of IFN-alpha for HCV patients. In comparison with pretreatment levels of MT, the grade of hepatic MT protein was decreased one year after IFN-alpha therapy. Changes in hepatic MT protein expression after therapy differed according to IFN response; MT was reduced significantly in NR but only slightly in SR. The mechanism by which MT was reduced one year after stopping IFN-alpha therapy in chronic HCV infection remains to be determined, but two possibilities have been proposed. Induction of MT is achievable by a variety of cytokines. Chronic HCV infection is associated with a T helper (Th)2-like or a combined Th1-Th2-like cytokine pattern and resolving infection with a Th1-like cytokine profile. With regard to post-IFN therapy, Marinho et al reported a reduced production of Th1-Th2-like cytokines 15 months after stopping IFN therapy; however, they did not find any characterizing Th1/Th2 response between the SR and NR patients. Therefore, a decrease in MT one year after the therapy is, at least in part, possible for association with the reduction of these cytokines, and other factors may cause different MT levels between SR and NR patients. Cheapest online shopping – find proventil albuterol at best fully-licensed pharmacy.