The systemic administration of nitroglycerine induces attacks in migraineurs and is able to activate and sensitize the trigeminal system in animals involving glutamate and α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, among others. Kynurenic acid is one of the endogenous glutamate receptor antagonists, and exerts inhibitory action on the α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Since kynurenic acid penetrates the blood-brain barrier poorly, therefore a newly synthesized kynurenic acid amide, N-(2-N-pyrrolidinylethyl)-4-oxo-1H-quinoline-2-carboxamide hydrochloride (KYNAa) was used with such a side-chain substitution to facilitate brain penetration in our study. We evaluated its modulatory effect on kynurenic acid concentration in the cervical part of trigemino-cervical complex (C1-C2) and in the model of nitroglycerine-induced trigeminal activation using male Sprague-Dawley rats. One hour after 1 mmol/kg bodyweight KYNAa administration, the kynurenic acid level increased significantly in C1-C2, which returned to the basal level at 300 min measured by high-performance liquid chromatography. KYNAa pre-treatment had dose-dependent, mitigating action on nitroglycerine-induced decrease in calcitonin gene-related peptide and increase in c-Fos, neuronal nitric oxide synthase and calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II alpha expression in the C1-C2. KYNAa also mitigated the behavioural changes after nitroglycerine. Thus, in this model KYNAa is able to modulate in a dose-dependent manner the changes in neurochemical markers of activation and sensitization of the trigeminal system directly and indirectly--via forming kynurenic acid, possibly acting on peripheral and central glutamate or α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. These results suggest that application of kynurenic acid derivatives could be a useful therapeutic strategy in migraine headache in the future with a different mechanism of action.