The water channel, Aquaporin-9 (AQP9) is enriched in selected neuronal populations and is unique its ability to act as a lactate-glycerol channel supplying neurons with alternative fuel under ischaemic conditions. AQP9 was detected in RGC-5 cells, a retinal ganglion cell-line, primary RGCs, and retina by Western blotting, real-time PCR (RT-PCR) and immunohistochemistry. RGC-5 cells subjected to a hypotonic stress increased their cell volume that was blocked by known inhibitor of AQP9 (phloretin (40 μM)). RGC-5 cells subjected to hypoxia, showed an up-regulation in AQP9 expression as judged by Western blotting and RT-PCR. Similarly, hypotonic shock (50%) increased AQP9 expression as determined by RT-PCR. AQP9 is involved in energy balance as a glycerol-lactate channel and also appears to regulate cell volume in retinal ganglion neurons. This water channel may play a key role in retinal ganglion pathology.