The mouse igf2 gene, coding for the insulin-like growth factor II (IGF-II) is parentally imprinted, only the gene copy derived from the father is expressed. To know whether IGF2, the human homologue, is also imprinted, we used an ApaI polymorphism at the 3' untranslated region in order to distinguish between mRNA derived from each copy of the gene in placentae from heterozygote human fetuses, studied after careful removal of the decidua. Six term and two pre-term placentae of heterozygotes were studied, and in each case the cDNA contained only one of the two alleles present in the genomic DNA. In three cases the mother was homozygous for the non-expressed allele, allowing assignment of paternal origin to the transcribed gene copy. We conclude that, as in the mouse, human IGF2 is parentally imprinted.