Purpose of review: Description of the progress about the vascular effects promoted by thyroid hormones.
Recent findings: Over the past few years, a number of studies have shown that in addition to genomic effects on blood vessels, thyroid hormones exert extranuclear nongenomic effects on vascular smooth muscle cells and endothelium. These nongenomic effects occur rapidly and do not involve thyroid hormone response elements-mediated transcriptional events. In this context, the genomic and nongenomic events promoted by thyroid hormones act in concert to control the vascular hemodynamic and regulate the cardiovascular function.
Summary: Considering the antiatherogenic property of thyroid hormones and the rapid effects produced by this molecule as a vasodilator, including that in the coronary bed, a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in its action may contribute to the development of drugs that can be clinically used to increase the known benefits promoted by thyroid hormones in cardiovascular physiology.