Telomerase activity is upregulated in activated and malignant lymphocytes. We studied the correlation of telomerase and IL-10 to leukemia transformation in the NZB mouse model of human chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Telomerase levels increased from early to late leukemic stages, likewise IL-10 gene expression levels increased with the leukemic progression. The inverse relationship of telomerase and IL-10 levels to the survival of NZB mice was also established. Our data suggested that telomerase and IL-10 were involved in transformation in the murine model of CLL and the detection of telomerase activities might be of value in the prediction of CLL progression.