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3.1.4 Summary Highlighting

gnus-visual-mark-article-hook
This hook is run after selecting an article. It is meant to be used for highlighting the article in some way. It is not run if gnus-visual is nil.
gnus-summary-update-hook
This hook is called when a summary line is changed. It is not run if gnus-visual is nil.
gnus-summary-selected-face
This is the face (or font as some people call it) used to highlight the current article in the summary buffer.
gnus-summary-highlight
Summary lines are highlighted according to this variable, which is a list where the elements are of the format (form . face). If you would, for instance, like ticked articles to be italic and high-scored articles to be bold, you could set this variable to something like
          (((eq mark gnus-ticked-mark) . italic)
           ((> score default) . bold))

As you may have guessed, if form returns a non-nil value, face will be applied to the line.