Postnatal ocular growth is regulated by a vision-dependent mechanism which acts to minimize refractive error through coordinated growth of the ocular tissues. Of great interest is the identification of the chemical signals that control visually-guided ocular growth. Here we provide evidence that the pro-inflammatory cytokine, Interleukin-6 (IL-6), may play a pivotal role in the control of ocular growth using a chicken model of myopia. Microarray, real time RT-qPCR, and ELISA analyses identified IL-6 upregulation in the choroids of chick eyes under two visual conditions that introduce myopic defocus and slow the rate of ocular elongation (recovery from induced myopia and compensation for positive lenses). Intraocular administration of atropine, an agent known to slow ocular elongation, also resulted in an increase in choroidal IL-6 gene expression. Nitric oxide appears to directly or indirectly upregulate choroidal IL-6 gene expression, as administration of the non-specific nitric oxide synthase inhibitor, L-NAME, inhibited choroidal IL-6 gene expression, and application of a nitric oxide donor stimulated IL-6 gene and protein expression in isolated chick choroids. Considering the pleiotropic nature of IL-6 and involvement in many biological processes, these results suggest that IL-6 may mediate many aspects of the choroidal response in the control of ocular growth.