CONCLUSION Our results indicate that myosin VIIa-positive cells are generated from embryonic stem cells (ESCs) co-cultured with PA6 cells; however, bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4) may not be a key molecule for induction of myosin VIIa-positive cells from the ESCs. BACKGROUND ESCs have been considered as a basis for cell therapy in a range of organs, because of their potential for self-renewal and pluripotency. Co-culture with PA6 stromal cells can induce differentiation of ESCs into various types of ectodermal cells including sensory progenitors. BMP4 plays an essential role in the development of sensory hair cells in the inner ear. MATERIALS AND METHODS We examined effects of BMP4 on differentiation of ESCs into the hair cell immunophenotype. BMP4 was supplemented at different time points to ESCs co-cultured on PA6 stromal cells. The ESCs were then collected and examined for the expression of myosin VIIa, a hair cell marker, and betaIII-tubulin, a neural marker. The expression of myosin VIIa and betaIII-tubulin was identified. RESULTS Quantitative assessments revealed that exogenous BMP4 has significant effects on the expression of betaIII-tubulin, but not of myosin VIIa.