Colon cancer is accompanied by a decrease of epithelial barrier properties, which are determined by tight junction (TJ) proteins between adjacent epithelial cells. The aim of the current study was to analyze the expression of TJ proteins in a rat model of 1,2-dimethylhydrazine (DMH)-induced colorectal cancer, as well as the barrier properties and TJ protein expression of IPEC-J2 cell monolayers after incubation with DMH. Transepithelial electrical resistance and paracellular permeability for sodium fluorescein of IPEC-J2 were examined by an epithelial volt/ohm meter and spectrophotometry. The expression and localization of TJ proteins were analyzed by immunoblotting and immunohistochemistry. In the colonic tumors of rats with DMH-induced carcinogenesis, the expression of claudin-3 and -4 was significantly increased compared to controls. The transepithelial electrical resistance of IPEC-J2 cells increased, while paracellular permeability for sodium fluorescein decreased, accompanied by an increased expression of claudin-4. The increase of claudin-4 in rat colon after chronic DMH exposure was consistent with the acute effect of DMH on IPEC-J2 cells, which may indicate an essential role of this protein in colorectal cancer development.