Human uniparental gestations such as gynogenetic ovarian teratomas and androgenetic complete hydatidiform moles provide a model to evaluate the integrity of parent-specific gene expression--i.e., imprinting--in the absence of a complementary parental genetic contribution. We studied expression, in these tissues, of the oppositely imprinted genes H19, which is an embryonic nontranslated RNA, and insulin-like growth factor type 2 (IGF2). Normal gestations only express H19 from the maternal allele and express IGF2 from the paternal allele, whereas neither is expressed from the maternal genome of gynogenetic gestations, and both are expressed from the paternal genome of androgenetic gestations. Coexpression of H19 and IGF2 in the androgenetic tissues was in a single population of cells, mononuclear trophoblast--the same cell type expressing these genes in biparental placentas. These results demonstrate that a biparental genome may be required for expression of the reciprocal IGF2/H19 imprint. Alternatively, biparental expression may be a normal feature of some imprinted genes in specific cell types. Additional experiments with other imprinted genes will clarify whether this reflects global failure of the imprinting process or a change specific to the IGF2/H19 locus.