In Lewy body (LB) diseases, including Parkinson’s disease (PD), without and with dementia (PDD), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients with LB co-pathology 1 , α-synuclein (α-Syn) aggregates in neurons as LBs and Lewy neurites (LNs) 2 , while in multiple system atrophy (MSA), α-Syn mainly accumulates in oligodendrocytes as glial cytoplasmic inclusions (GCIs) 3 . Here, we report that pathological α-Syn in GCIs and LBs (GCI-α-Syn and LB-α-Syn) are conformationally and biologically distinct. GCI-α-Syn forms more compact structures and is ~1,000-fold more potent than LB-α-Syn in seeding α-Syn aggregation, consistent with the highly aggressive nature of MSA. Surprisingly, GCI-α-Syn and LB-α-Syn show no cell type preference in seeding α-Syn pathology, raising the question of why they demonstrate different cell type distributions in LB disease versus MSA. Strikingly, we found that oligodendrocytes but not neurons transform misfolded α-Syn into a GCI-like strain, highlighting that distinct α-Syn strains are generated by different intracellular milieus. Moreover, GCI-α-Syn maintains its high seeding activity when propagated in neurons. Thus, α-Syn strains are determined by both misfolded seeds and intracellular environments.