Dynamic assembly and disassembly of primary cilia controls embryonic development and tissue homeostasis. Dysregulation of ciliogenesis causes human developmental diseases termed ciliopathies. Cell-intrinsic regulatory mechanisms of cilia disassembly have been well-studied. The extracellular cues controlling cilia disassembly remain elusive, however. Here, we show that lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), a multifunctional bioactive phospholipid, acts as a physiological extracellular factor to initiate cilia disassembly and promote neurogenesis. Through systematic analysis of serum components, we identify a small molecular-LPA as the major driver of cilia disassembly. Genetic inactivation and pharmacological inhibition of LPA receptor 1 (LPAR1) abrogate cilia disassembly triggered by serum. The LPA-LPAR-G-protein pathway promotes the transcription and phosphorylation of cilia disassembly factors-Aurora A, through activating the transcription coactivators YAP/TAZ and calcium/CaM pathway, respectively. Deletion of Lpar1 in mice causes abnormally elongated cilia and decreased proliferation in neural progenitor cells, thereby resulting in defective neurogenesis. Collectively, our findings establish LPA as a physiological initiator of cilia disassembly and suggest targeting the metabolism of LPA and the LPA pathway as potential therapies for diseases with dysfunctional ciliogenesis.