GDF15 is frequently detected in patients suffering from various diseases, especially those associated with pro-inflammatory processes and/or metabolic disorders. Accordingly, sepsis, whose major complications are related to metabolic alterations and systemic inflammation, significantly increases the secretion of GDF15. Indeed, this cytokine could be considered a marker of sepsis severity. However, until the last several years, the involvement of GDF15 in these disorders had not been widely characterized. In mice, GDF15 was recently described as a pivotal inducer of sepsis tolerance by mediating metabolic alterations that reduce tissue damage. In this work we describe a zebrafish gdf15 gene. We found that gdf15 follows an expression pattern similar to that observed in mammals, being highly expressed in the liver and kidney and induced after pro-inflammatory stimuli. Moreover, larvae overexpressing gdf15 were more resistant to bacterial and viral challenges without affecting the pathogen load. Consequently, Gdf15 also protected zebrafish larvae against LPS-induced mortality. As in mice, zebrafish Gdf15 seems to induce sepsis tolerance by altering the metabolic parameters of the individuals.Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Ltd.